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Presidential debate delayed due to bets' 'concerns'

The stage at the University of the Philippines Cebu is still empty past 5 p.m. the scheduled start of the presidential debate on Sunday, March 20, 2016. Philstar.com / Rosette Adel

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) — The second leg of the presidential debate sanctioned by the Commission on Elections was delayed due to the concerns of some candidates.

The debate at the University of the Philippines in Cebu City was scheduled to start at 5 p.m., but only started around 6:30 pm.

Former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas called out Vice President Jejomar Binay for bringing documents to the debate.

Based on the livestream shown at the press center of the discussions on stage, Roxas stressed that the candidates were not allowed to bring notes during the debate and that Binay violated the rules.

Binay, however, insisted that there was no difference if he brought documents with him during the debate as his opponents were also prepared.

News5 Chief Luchi Cruz Valdez apologized for allowing Binay to bring documents and admitted that she did not think of the standing Comelec rule on the debate.

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According to a statement issued by TV5 on the matter, presidential candidates are seeking "last minute clarifications from [Commission on Elections] on the debates' rules of engagement.

. — with reports from Rosette Adel and Christina Mendez

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