MANILA (Mabuhay) – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is supporting a proposed measure of Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago which seeks the creation of a presidential debate commission.
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said requiring presidential and vice-presidential aspirants to face each other in a debate would be for the benefit of the voters.
“Pagdating sa lebel ng presidential, nagiging issue dito ang pagsipot ng kandidato. Kung bahagi na ng batas ang debate, na talagang itinalaga for this purpose, siguro mas lalalim ang usapan pagdating sa mga isyu at iba’t ibang plataporma ng mga kandidato,” Jimenez said.
Santiago’s Senate Bill 1797 seeks to establish a Presidential Debate Commission which will “schedule the debates for the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates, submit reports evaluating the debates scheduled by the Commission itself and by other agencies, organization or the mass media, and formulate the guidelines for the adoption of the best format for the debates.”
Santiago’s bill remains pending with the Senate committee on electoral reforms and people’s participation.
Jimenez believes the public wants the presidential debates institutionalized.
“Nararamdaman namin na gusto rin talaga ng publiko. Ang kailangan eh matimbrehan ang mga kongresista na ito ang gusto ng kanilang constituency,” he said. (MNS)