UP prof: Debate failed to draw platform-based arguments
Kristine Daguno-Bersamina (philstar.com) - March 20, 2016 - 10:01am

MANILA, Philippines — The presidential debate initiated by the Commission on Elections failed anew in eliciting a platform-based conversation, a University of the Philippines educator on Sunday said.

“The candidates have attacked each other's person, which are not necessarily helpful,” Political Science Assistant Professor Jan Robert Go told Philstar.com in an online interview. “I hope the debate did not confuse the people.”

READ: Candidates veer away from debate topics to hit rivals

The analyst said the presidential candidates had been more preoccupied with “bashing” and “mudslinging” than on answering the questions raised.

“If there were attempts from candidates to answer the questions, they managed to reconfigure their answers and give a different response than expected,” Go said.

While the analyst said the candidates had been more in attack mode, they nonetheless managed to reveal their characters in how they asked and answered the questions.

Go blamed the long delay of telecast which compromised the quality of debate.

“The delay was a big deal here. It really affected the mood of everyone,” he said.

Go said several topics in the Visayas leg such as health and education were not tackled, citing policy agendas and basic services which are as important as issues.

He expects more substantive answers can be squeezed from the candidates at the third round of presidential debate next month.

“I hope specific policy questions should be asked. (We) have questions that each candidate can answer. Example: What are your proposed public health programs? How will you resolve the problems in the education sector? This way, we can hear their positions,” Go said.

“Of course, we are assuming that they will answer this properly,” he added.

The third and last round of presidential debate will be held in Pangasinan, taking a town hall format. 

MAY 2016 ELECTIONS
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