By PTV News
By Ferdinand Patinio | Philippine News Agency
MANILA – Seven out of 10 presidential candidates in the May 9 polls have so far confirmed their participation in the Church-based online forum which started on Monday, Feb. 14.
In an interview, Bro. Clifford Sorita, one of the organizers of the Catholic E-Forum, said those who are expected to participate in the one-on-one interview for those running for the highest post in the land are labor leader Leody de Guzman, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, former national security adviser Norberto Gonzales, Senator Ping Lacson, Dr. Jose Montemayor Jr., Senator Manny Pacquiao, and Vice President Leni Robredo.
De Guzman was the first candidate that was interviewed while Montemayor will have his chance to present his platform on Tuesday, Feb. 15.
The Catholic E-forum is featured in the Bangaray Simbayanan from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. with Veritas anchors Angelique Lazo and Rev. Fr. Jerome Secillano through Radio Veritas 846.
Sorita said presidential bets Faisal Mangomdato, former presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella and former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., have also been invited to the event.
“They have informed us that they received the invite and will communicate their response,” Sorita said.
Sorita said invitations were sent to the national candidate two weeks ago.
Aside from the presidential bets, vice-presidential (VP) and senators candidates have been invited to the church-based program.
The interviews for presidential candidates will be from Feb. 14 to 28.
Meanwhile, VP bets will be interviewed from Mar. 1 to 15 while those who are running for the senatorial seats will have their chance to present their platforms from Mar. 16 to Apr. 29.
Those who are running for the second highest seat in the country are former Manila Mayor Lito Atienza, Walden Bello, Rizalito David, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, Manny Lopez, Dr. Willie Ong, Kiko Pangilinan, Carlos Serapio and Senator Tito Sotto.
64 candidates are running for the 12 senatorial seats.
Sorita believed that is it important for those who are running for public office to attend such forums for the public to know more about the candidates.
“Attending a public forum is crucial in public accountability, most especially when you are seeking the highest position in the country. The Church is non-partisan thus is it important that everyone has an equal opportunity to be heard and to be asked on crucial issues concerning the country,” Sorita said.
Aside from Radio Veritas, the public may also catch the program at Radio Veritas Facebook Page, Radio Veritas Asia, TV Maria, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila-Archdiocesan Office of Communications (RCAM-AOC) Catholic Media Network (CMN), Skycable Channel 211, and other Social Communications Ministry of the Catholic Church.
It is also being presented by the Episcopal Commission on Social Communications and Permanent Committee on Public Affairs of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. (PNA) – bny