Binay, Duterte, Poe, Roxas square off in delay-marred Cebu debate
Despite a delay which lasted for more than an hour, the second government-organized presidential debate finally kicked off in Cebu City on Sunday evening with four of the five official presidential candidates taking the stage and sharing their plans should they become the country’s next leader.
Vice President Jejomar Binay, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Senator Grace Poe and former Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II were in the city to participate in the Visayas leg of the presidential debates organized by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago opted to skip Sunday’s debate to participate in a clinical trial of a new anticancer drug.
The debate, which is being held at the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu Performing Arts Hall, was scheduled for 5 p.m. but started at 6:31 p.m. It is expected to last for three hours.
The delay was allegedly caused by confusion in the rules if candidates are allowed to bring their notes on stage or not.
The Cebu debate, hosted by TV 5 and the Philippine Star, will feature two rounds: the first round is panel format while the second round will allow interaction among candidates.
Both rounds of the debate will be moderated by veteran journalist Luchi Cruz-Valdes.
The second round will zero in on discussions on climate change and disaster risk reduction, education, healthcare and corruption.
The first leg of the debate, which was in dual moderator format, was hosted by GMA 7 and the Philippine Daily Inquirer. AJH
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