Filipinos to ask questions at next presidential debate
Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) - April 21, 2016 - 2:31am

MANILA, Philippines — The third and final Commission on Elections-initiated presidential debate, which will have a town hall format, will give opportunities for ordinary Filipino citizens to ask questions to the presidential aspirants.

Vice President Jejomar Binay, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Liberal Party standard bearer Manuel "Mar" Roxas II, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Sen. Grace Poe have confirmed to attend the debate at the Phinma University of Pangasinan on Sunday.

The town hall format was assigned to ABS-CBN and Manila Bulletin after the drawing of lots facilitated by the poll body for the debate series.

"The sectoral representatives were chosen among thousands of Filipinos all over the nation and the world who sent in their queries for the presidential candidates via ABS-CBN's 'Halalan Hugot' campaign," ABS-CBN said in a statement on Thursday.

The questions for the final presidential debate will focus on metro traffic and public transport, job security, health, foreign policy, basic public education, overseas Filipino workers concerns and peace for Mindanao residents in conflict areas.

The final debate will also have a face-off round where one candidate may grill another candidate on his ability to govern and lead, ABS-CBN said.

INFOGRAPHIC: Presidential debates schedule

ABS-CBN Integrated News and Current Affairs head Ging Reyes said that the final debate will be the last opportunity for Filipino voters to see the stands of the presidential bets on various issues and how they differ.

"Voters still have time to make up their minds about the candidates. Listen to their proposed policies, analyze their plans, look beyond motherhood statements and empty promises," Reyes said.

The first presidential debate was held at the Capitol University in Cagayan De Oro City on February 21 while the second one was held at the University of the Philippines in Cebu City on March 20.

A vice presidential debate was also held at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila on last April 10.

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