The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday announced that its final two debates for presidential and vice presidential candidates would no longer push through.

In a media briefing, Comelec Commissioner George Garcia said a forum for the candidates would be held instead.

The forum will include one-hour one-on-one interviews with the candidates.

“[T]he concluding event of the PiliPinas Debates 2022 Series will no longer be Vice-Presidential and Presidential Town Hall Debates,” Garcia said in a media briefing.

“In consideration of the inevitable scheduling conflicts as the candidates approach the homestretch of the campaign period […] the Comelec will now be adopting a single candidate or team panel interview format,” he added.

The Comelec debates were initially imperiled by Impact Hub Manila’s failure to pay P14 million of its P20.595 million pending balance to Sofitel, the venue of the debates held in mid-March and early April.

The debates were rescheduled from April 23 and 24 to March 19 and 20 and April 3 before they were scrapped.

The Comelec will conduct the forums with a new partner, the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP). John Ezekiel J. Hirro