The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday shot down the proposal to conduct one-on-one debates for presidential candidates in the 2022 elections, saying they would be “unfair.”
In a “Laging Handa” briefing, Comelec Commissioner George Garcia said all candidates should be given equal chances to lay down their platforms.
“Alam ninyo po, napakaganda ng lahat ng panukalang ganiyan. Kaya lang po naman, hindi ba po kasi kapag nag-one-on-one, e nakakahiya at unfair naman po doon sa ibang mga kandidato. Para po tayong nagdi-discriminate,” he said.
“Ang lahat po ng mga kandidato ay may equal chance na mabigyan ng kanilang entablado at kanilang panahon […] we should be impartial, neutral, lalung–lalo na sa halalan. Kapag po nag-require tayo ng one-on-one lamang, parang pinili na natin ang iupo, ito yata iyong mananaig,” he added.
It was Sen. Manny Pacquiao who challenged his fellow presidential candidate, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., to a one-on-one debate after the latter skipped another presidential debate earlier this month.
Marcos is only attending debates hosted by SMNI, the official broadcasting arm of the embattled pastor Apollo Quiboloy who has supported his candidacy for president.
“Definitely kung magde-debate tayo lahat ng gustong mag-participate ay welcome sa ating debate. Maaaring madami sila, tama po. Pero, ganoon po talaga iyan, mas madami ang pagpipilian ng ating mga kababayan,” Garcia said. John Ezekiel J. Hirro