No-show Santiago’s podium to be taken out of stage on 2nd debate
CEBU CITY—Only four podiums will be seen onstage during the second presidential debates here after Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago decided to skip the event at the University of the Philippines Cebu campus.
Santiago on Thursday said she would miss the debate hosted by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to undergo a clinical trial for a new anticancer pill.
Earlier, Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista had said that in the event that a candidate would not show up, his or her chair would not be removed from the stage during the entire duration of the debate.
“If they do not show up, then their seat with their name will remain in the event,” Bautista said.
“We don’t shame anybody. It is because not showing up is a message in itself,” he added.
But TV 5, who is a lead organizer of the debate, said Santiago’s absence would be an exemption.
“Given the nature of her absence, we decided it’s more prudent not to leave it (podium) onstage,” Patrick Paez, head of TV 5’s news production, said.
But despite Santiago’s absence, the 15 seats reserved for her supporters would also not be removed from the debate hall. IDL
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.