Comelec drops presidential, VP debates, goes for interview format
The Commission on Election (Comelec) will drop the vice presidential and presidential debates and conduct an interview format for the presidential and vice presidential candidates on April 30 and May 1.
"The Commission on Elections, in partnership with the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), has announced that the concluding event of the PiliPinas Debates 2022 Series will no longer be vice presidential and presidential town hall debates," said the Comelec Monday.
"As advised by the KBP, the Comelec will now be adopting a single candidate/team - panel interview format," it said.
Comelec said the change in format was due to its nearness to May 9, election day.
Comelec Commissioner George Garcia said the pre-taped presidential and vice-presidential programs are set to air from May 2 to May 6.
"All will be entitled to a 1 hour panel interview... It is up to the candidates if they want to do it virtually or face-to-face," he said.
Acting Presidential Spokesperson Martin Andanar said the Comelec's announcement was ''unfortunate.''
However, Andanar said the panel interview by the Comelec and the KBP, ''is a welcome opportunity for candidates to explain their intention and agenda to the Filipino electorate.''
Asked if all candidates have committed to the activity, Garcia said Comelec has yet to send out the invitations.
Last week, the Comelec announced the postponement of the vice presidential and presidential town hall debates to April 30 and May 1 from April 23 and 24 after its private partner, Impact Hub Manila, encountered financial issues with the venue of the PiliPinas Debates 2022, Sofitel Philippine Plaza. DMS