VICE President Jejomar Binay’s camp wants more time allotted for the presidential candidates during debates in order to convey their platform.
Binay, who is the standard bearer of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), has said in a sortie in Batangas province last week that he will write to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) regarding the matter as he stressed that a change in format was needed.
The first presidential debate was held earlier at the Capitol University in Cagayan de Oro City.
On Sunday, when asked if the Vice President will make some adjustments for the next debate – which will be held on March 20 in Cebu – UNA spokesperson Mon Ilagan told reporters that Binay was always prepared for the elections as a whole and not just the debates.
“It is there that you will see that he really wants to become President and that he really wants to serve the country,” he said.
“I think it is important for the candidates to explain their plans for the Filipino nation and not mudslinging… and not issues which are considered below the belt,” Ilagan said.
The UNA spokesperson pointed out that the one minute and 30 seconds allotted to the candidates seemed too fast that one cannot explain anything about his platform of government anymore.
When asked what was below the belt, Ilagan replied, “May patutsada na kaagad ‘yung ibang kandidato sa una pa lamang…so this is something na personal na na parang hindi na dapat na pinag-uusapan doon [The other candidates already had innuendos at the start…so this is something personal already that should not have been talked about there].”
“Hindi upang ulit-ulitin ang mga akusasyon, ang mga bintang, ang mga paninira. Then I think this is not helpful, hindi ito magiging magandang halimbawa na iiwanan natin sa ating mga kabataan. Mas magandang pag-usapan ano ang gagawin ko kapag ako ay naging Pangulo [Not to keep on repeating accusations, disparaging remarks. Then I think this is not helpful, this will not be a good example to the youth. A better topic to talk about is what one will do if he or she becomes President],” Ilagan said.
Binay said that what happened was not a debate.
He said that he was asked about his stand on political dynasties, he said, “e wala naman hong track record na tinanong so medyo kelangan na ho mabago ung format na ‘yun kung hindi, sayang lang ho, sayang ‘yung pinakapakay kung bakit nagkaganun na paghaharap sa taumbayan [Track record was not asked so that format somehow needs to be changed because otherwise the debate’s objective will just go to waste].”