Palace asks public to watch final presidential debate

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MALACAÑANG (Presidential Palace) on Saturday urged the public to watch the final presidential debate, slated for Sunday, in order to know more about the candidates running in the May 9 elections for the highest office in the land.

In a radio interview, Presidential Communications Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III said it would be the people who would benefit from watching the third and final debate to be held in Dagupan City, 163 kilometers northwest of Manila.

He told listeners of dzRB radio the presidential debate will heighten social discourse to give the voters the best option about their choice of new leaders.

“This would help our countrymen think and weigh things to help them choose our next President and Vice President intelligently,” Quezon said in Filipino.


Two weeks before the May 9 elections, the five candidates for President will again try to win more votes in the final “PiliPinas Debate” at the Phinma-University of Pangasinan, in Dagupan City, capital of Pangasinan province.

Among the expected participants will be Vice President Jejomar Binay, standard-bearer of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA); Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, a constitutional expert who is noted for having served all the three branches of government; Rodrigo Duterte, mayor of the southern Philippine city of Davao who has received flaks lately over his trash talk and rape jokes; Sen. Grace Poe, adoptive daughter of the late action-movie king Fernando Poe, Jr. and veteran actress Susan Roces; and former Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, standard-bearer of the ruling Liberal Party (LP).

The people could ask the candidates about urgent issues affecting them in a town-hall debate organized by the Commission on Elections, the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas, ABS-CBN, and Manila Bulletin.

A number of issues to be tackled include free basic education, concerns of the more than 10 million overseas Filipino workers and employment opportunities overseas, the country’s maritime dispute with China, peace in the restive areas of Mindanao in southern Philippines, the horrendous traffic in Metro Manila and its public transportation system, basic health care, jobs and unfair labor practices. CATHERINE S. VALENTE

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