Comelec chief: PiliPinas debates helped voters scrutinize candidates
Patricia Lourdes Viray ( - April 26, 2016 - 3:50am

MANILA, Philippines — Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Juan Andres "Andy" Bautista on Tuesday said that the PiliPinas debates helped voters to scrutinize candidates in the upcoming elections.

The Comelec, in partnership with major television networks and newspapers, initiated three presidential debates in Cagayan De Oro City (Mindanao) on February 21, Cebu City (Visayas) on March 20 and Dagupan City (Luzon) on April 24.

A vice presidential debate was also held in Manila on April 10.

"Maganda naman yung naging proyekto ng mga debate dahil talagang nabigyan ng pagkakataon ang ating mga botante na makilatis, mapanood, masuri ang mga plataporma, ang mga posisyon ng ating mga kandidato," Bautista told members of the press during an interview.

Bautista added that the presidential and vice presidential candidates were given the opportunity to present themselves in the debate series.

"Sa aking palagay din ito'y isang magandang pagkakataon para rin sa ating mga kandidato na mailahad ang kanilang mga sarili," the Comelec chairman said.

The Comelec-sanctioned presidential debate series this year were the first to be held outside Metro Manila.

The three debates had different formats — dual moderator format in Mindanao, panel format in Visayas and town hall format in Luzon.

Different issues were also tackled in the debate series such as poverty, Mindanao woes, disaster preparedness, health care, education, corruption, traffic and transportation, foreign policy, tax reforms and OFW concerns.

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