Hontiveros calls for televised election debates

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Risa Hontiveros. INQUIRER.net file photo

MANILA, Philippines—Administration senatorial candidate Risa Hontiveros called Saturday for televised debates among senatorial candidates to expose to the public the politicians who merely bank on name recall because their family names are well-known instead of discussing what they have to offer the electorate.

Hontiveros, a former House member of the party-list Akbayan, called on the Commission on Elections to offer incentives so television networks would hold debates among the candidates.

Re-electionist Senator Alan Peter Cayetano has also called on the Comelec to help level the playing field for less known and less moneyed senatorial hopefuls by using part of its budget to buy television and radio air time as well as newspaper space for such candidates.

“What’s necessary is for Comelec to help show that an election is fundamentally a clash of ideas and platforms, not of personalities,” Hontiveros said in a statement.

Hontiveros, who placed 13th in the 2010 elections but only 18th in the latest senatorial survey by Pulse Asia, suggested that Comelec hold regular senatorial fora or offer tax breaks to networks in exchange for televised debates.

“Incentives such as tax breaks could be given to TV networks to encourage them to host more debates among senatorial candidates. These would sharpen the differences between candidates along programs and platforms, and would aid voters in choosing their bets,” Hontiveros said.

Hontiveros said each candidate should be given a chance to show what he or she can bring to the table.

“It is not just fraud or violence that undermines an election. The lack of informed choice can also cripple the crucial role that elections play in a democracy, and that happens when gimmickry trumps real debates,” Hontiveros said.

“We’ve known that Philippine politics is dominated by gimmickry. Some might find this entertaining, but we hope that come May 2013, the result of the election is a Senate that will truly represent the people,” she added.

“For those who cannot raise funds by themselves, they should have an equal access to media. But how do we do that? The Comelec has P224 million budget for their information campaign. And in their own circular, they said that they can buy airtime,” Cayetano said at a news conference on Friday.

“So my suggestion to the Comelec is that instead of whining and complaining about some politicians having more money for commercials, I will have no objections if they buy air time and put the lesser known candidates and give them time on primetime,” he added.

Cayetano said one cannot take airtime and not pay because it’s private property. “But the Comelec does have P224 million,” Cayetano said.

“If they use this efficiently, they can buy radio time, they can buy newspaper space, they can buy TV spots for the lesser known national and local candidates to be able to espouse their advocacies, platforms and programs,” Cayetano said.

Cayetano also asked that the Comelec get the giant telecommunications firms to agree on a system of transferring funds to the candidates through the mobile phones of their millions of subscribers.

“You want to get rid of bad politicians, then get rid of those who are funded by smugglers, drug lords, those who are funded by illegal gambling, those who are being funded by the bureaucracy by those who try to put people to the regulatory offices and help them cut corners in business,” Cayetano said.

“I do believe that businessmen want a level-playing field. I do believe that businessmen want to do good. But to do that, we need good politicians. We need good public servants. And we have to have a way of funding them through the people,” Cayetano added.

Senatorial candidate Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casiño, who admitted  having problems raising funds for his television ads, has taken to selling teddy bears.

The blue stuffed toys carry a heart with the words “Teddy Cares” and, thus, have been called Teddy Cares Bears.

Casiño and his campaigners in the Makabayan coalition are selling the cuddly toys at P200 each. He said the bears are locally made by a small garments manufacturer, in keeping with Casiño’s advocacy for local manufacturing.

“Our biggest challenge is raising millions for TV and radio ads. This is one of the toughest hurdles an alternative candidate has to overcome so that he can reach millions of voters,” Casiño said.

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  • limcat

    Hontiveros ? Teddy C? Hmm one is wearing yellow the other blue … they should show their real colors, RED!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/3AXROSN6LN5YP66EONOKGSSYFY Ngiping Dilaw

      Super red.

    • where_I_stand

      For the Chinese, all warfare is based on deception:

      “All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.”

      The Art of War’s strategy on deception is even used by the KGB: “I will force the enemy to take our strength for weakness, and our weakness for strength, and thus will turn his strength into weakness”.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DKHID3EEHTG27U5JXRIIUVKXQA Jose Rizal

    A woman devoid of any substance…don’t vote for her…

    Hahahahahahaha

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_O5TQQYPGVHXCQLU4BRQR4FVBNA ramone

    Go Risa, go!

  • http://www.facebook.com/halsula Harrisson Banua-Go Alsula

    A woman of courage and substance.

  • Luthmar

    Excellent suggestion.  Televised debates especially among the new senatorial candidates
    like Nancy Binay, JV Ejercito, Jackie Enrile, Bam Aquino, JC de los Reyes, etc.  Principal subjects to be discussed should be the elimination of pork barrel, reduction of the 12% EVAT, income tax, etc.  We are up to our necks with taxes: yet, there isn’t much improvements that we see especially in the infrastructure sector, health and education.  Full accounting, suppported by recipts, etc, of government expenditures.

  • GungGung

    Am sure ayaw nyan ng mga BOBING na kandidato..

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GYYFBINDMTZHM6TDHPB667452M agustin

    The main interest of LP and UNA is to keep the FOI bill and the ANTI DYNASTY bill out of passage. fooling the people is in their mind, nobody can complain openly about this, for fear of reprisal, the advent of internet, one can air his complain. only a few can read his complain because most internet users are paid bloggers by LP & UNA who are denouncing each other. DO  NOT VOTE LP or UNA. they are trapos, dynasties and celebrities who do not work for the advancement of our poor people.

  • imongredneck

    Debates should have been mandatory. Debates will at least reveal the presence or absence of a brain in a candidate. We could have done away with what we have now. And the House would have been more relevant.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EDXEVEFHW2ZT5VWHDWBNM6XGE4 RyanE

    Great idea! It should be question-and-answer type. Some of the questions should be about political dynasty, smuggling, corruption, track records, economy, divorce, taxation for the church, senile politicians, candidates suspected of murder, etc.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/3AXROSN6LN5YP66EONOKGSSYFY Ngiping Dilaw

    Expose to the public the politicians who merely bank on name recall. TULAD NI Presidente Aquino. Sikat lang yung pangalan!

  • joeybg

    Tama yan, para makita ang mga Katangahan ng mga Tuta ng Tatlong Haring Kawatan.

    Lets start with Nancy Baluga vs Bam Aquino….

    • 12JEM

       Panalo si Nancy Binay… Sana manalo rin si Bam Aquino.

    • ike1684

      ewan ko lang kung nd mangapa ng sagot si nancy. ang kapal ng mukha nya para tumakbong senador

  • Paking

    Erap, Lito Lapid, Bong Revilla and the likes who depend on popularity to win will never join any kind of debate. Mabubuking kasi ang kabobohan nila. Ano ngayon ang gagawin ni Ms. Hontiveros sa mga kandidatong ayaw makipag-debate para di mabuking na walang alam? Maraming bobong kandidato ang tahimik lang at dinadaan sa pa-pogi at kasikatan at ooops….laging nananalo. Ibibitay ba natin sila dahil ayaw makipag-debate? Sang-ayon ako sa debate para makilatis ang galing ng sino mang kandidato pero dapat, lahat kasali at walang atrasan. Sayang lang ang boto sa mga bobong trapo, sikat pero bugok na sportsman o artista. Kasama sila sa dahilan nang di natin pag-unlad.

    • popeyee

      yon ayaw sumali sa debate i-disqualify na lang…

  • White24

    NO TO RISA HONTIVEROS!!

  • joshua kings

    NO TO RISA HONTIVEROS!, TOO!

    NO TO ALL THOSE WHO VOTED FOR THE RH BILL!

    NO TO THOSE WHO WOULD MURDER THE UNBORN!

    NO TO THOSE WHO FAVOR LEGALIZATION OF DIVORCE!

    NO TO THOSE WHO FAVOR SAME-SEX MARRIAGE!

    NO TO THOSE WHO FAVOR EUTHANASIA!

  • http://inquirer.net/ binaygulay

    Tama! Para maexpose ang kabobohan ng mga kandidato!

  • disqusted0fu

    Yes, that’s what a showbiz political party, under the endorsement of a showbiz President is yearning for; to be seen, to have exposure because that’s everything that they are banking on for their hopes of victory.

    If you are a true public servant who has done significant work to help better the country, you shouldn’t have a huge sense of desperation to have exposure and talk your way to victory as your accomplishments will speak for yourself. But with this kind of party, including their endorser Pnoy, they do need a lot of exposure and a lot of talking.

    • angelfish1105

      Huh? You know nothing about Risa Hontiveros. Her accomplishments: Cheaper Medicines Act, CARPER, RH Bill, among others. She’s been a consistent advocate of women’s rights and has given continuous support for farmer groups.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FNBBNCCS7FK4K6ZEMT2XMEN5JQ RAMONS

    gusto ni hontiveros ng tv debate para ma ” expose ”  siya para tumaas ng rating niya dahil wala yata sa survey sa magic 12 ang pangalan niya.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_26N5TXE3YVEC2YE7Z6PXNE5XNQ boy

    Si Hontiveros talaga..EWAN KO SAYOOOOO!!!

  • Kumander Chameleon

    Dun lang naman kasi kayo Magaling sa Debate! Mga nagkukunwaring may mga alam pero hanggang ngayon pahirap pa rin sa bayan! Bakit si Miriam “Tililing” Santiago, ang husay sa debate pero ano ba ang nagawa nya para makapag ambag sa pag ahon sa kahirapan ng mga pilipino! isa pa nga sya sa nagpapahirap. Kaya nga pinasa nyo ang RH Bill para makaraket kayo sa Pondo pambili ng pills at condom! Alan peter puro lang ngak ngak wala rin naman. Hanap buhay lang ang ginagawa nyo sa senado! Mabuti pa yung mga puliitiko na namimili ng boto kesa katulad nyo nagpapanggap na malinis puro mga magnanakaw din naman! Sinosolo nyo pa! Mga peste kayo!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JTYBNAOTDGZ74IUAP7XNBSD46Y Edsel

    Kung ang iboboto nyo ay Kapamilya, Kapuso at Kapatid sa darating na election, wag na lang. Wala na bang iba? Mag-isip muna tayo ng mabuti. Let’s end political dynasty in the upcoming election. Don’t vote for them. :-) #notopoliticaldynasty #stoppoliticaldynasty

  • ike1684

    tama yan para malaman kung sino sa kanila ang may alam nd ung sumasakay lang sa pangalan ng pamilya nila. nancy vs bam agad ng malaman kung sino ang may karapatan bilang senador.

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