Comelec says bets who will skip debates no longer allowed to use e-rally platform

Candidates who will skip the debates organized by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) will no longer be allowed to air their e-rallies in the e-rally platform of the poll body.

From left is Dir.James Jimenez Spokesperson COMELEC, Comm. Aimee Ferolino, Comm. Marlon Casquejo, Acting Chairperson Socorro Inting, Celeste Rondario Founder & Ceo Impact Hub Manila during the ceremonial signing of the Memorandum of Agreement for Pilipinas Debates 2022 The Turning Point in a hotel in Pasay City.(Photo Ali Vicoy)

"We do have a e-rally that we do allow them to use the platform and one of the agreements is that if they skip the debates, then they will not be able to air their e-rallies on our e-rally platform," Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said in a press briefing in Pasay on Monday, March 7.

He said this will be until the end of the campaign period.

The Comelec is organizing presidential and vice presidential debates for the May 2022 polls starting this month.

On Monday, the poll body formally signed an agreement with Vote Pilipinas at the Sofitel Hotel for the staging of Pilipinas Debates 2022.

The first Presidential Debates is on March 19, followed by the Vice-Presidential Debates on March 20, There will also be a second Presidential Debates on April 3.

Each debate is anchored on a set of predetermined topics on pressing concerns of the country, such as pandemic and the economy, and the pool of questions will come from the concerned sector groups.

The three-hour debates will follow a single-moderator format, with no live audience. Draw lots will determine to whom the first question will go. Succeeding questions, however, will be answered by the candidates in their alphabetical order.

A unique component of the Pilipinas Debates 2022 is the back-to-back Town Hall Debates, which will have both remote and in-person audience, and a post-debate roundtable. The Presidential and Vice Presidential Town Hall Debates will be held on April 23 and 24, respectively. Both will follow a double-moderator format.