Presidential candidates on Sunday cited the importance of public debates as a means to present not only their platforms but also themselves to the voters.
During the CNN Philippines 2022 Presidential Debate, Partido Reporma standard bearer Senator Panfilo said stressed that debates are important as it would show the candidates’ “wisdom and grasp” at current and past events.
It is also the proper forum where a candidate’s true character is revealed, according to Lacson.
“Mahalaga ang debate tulad nito kasi level ang playing field. Walang tutor, walang script. Dito masusukat nang maayos ang wisdom at grasp sa current and past issues. Pati character minsan lumalabas (Debates like this are important becase it levels the playign field. There’s no tutor, there’s no script. You can measure carefully a candidate’s wisdom and grasp on current and past issues. Even the character sometimes is also revealed in the open),” Lacson said.
Lacson said he only hopes that similar face-to-face debates would be held and all candidates in the upcoming May 2022 elections are present.
Incidentally, former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.was the lone presidential candidate who was a “no-show” at the presidential forum.
“Dapat encourage pa natin magkaron ng ganitong klaseng debate face to face at sana lahat kami narito (We should encourage more face-to-face debates like this, and hopefull everyone will participate),” he said.
Another presidential candidate, businessman Faisal Mangondato, also agreed that presidential debates are essential as it serves as an avenue where aspirants can lay out their proposed plans in solving the country’s problems.
Labor leader Leody de Guzman, who is also seeking the presidency, questioned Marcos’ absence during the forum.
“Dapat nandito ‘yung isang kasama namin pero bakit hindi nagpunta dito? Importante ito para malaman sana at masabi kung ano ‘yung mga programa, malaman ng bansa ng ating mga botante kung ano ‘yung plataporma (Our colleague should be here, but why isn’t he here? This is important so we can say what our programs are, for the nation to know our platforms),” De Guzman said.
Vice President Leni Robredo, the second frontrunner in the presidential surveys, also said debates are opportunity for voters to screen all the candidates based on their demeanor and character.
Robredo also said one key ingredient of leadership, aside from character, is to”show up in the most difficult times.”
“When you don’t show up in the most difficult times, hindi ka leader (You’re not a leader),” Robredo said.
“Kapag mahirap ang sitwasyon, dapat nariyan ka, kaya mong masagot iyong issues laban sa iyo. Hindi ka magtatago (If the situation gets hard, you should be there, you can answer the issues hurled against you. You won’t go into hiding),” the vice president added.