DAVAO CITY — Vice President Jejomar Binay, Sr was blamed for causing the delay of the second presidential debate held in Cebu City on Sunday, March 20.
The debate, which was held at the University of Philippines in Cebu City, was scheduled to start at 5:00 pm, but started more than an hour later.
During the start of the debate, audience can see Binay bringing documents and was later requested by the moderator not to bring notes since the Commission on Elections ruled that it is prohibited.
Luchie Cruz Valdez, who acted as the debate moderator, clarified that there was “miscommunication” and apologized for giving the wrong information to the camp of Vice President Binay.
In a statement posted on interaksyon.com, the management of TV5 apologized for the delay.
“On behalf of the management of TV5, the President, Mr. Noel Lorenzana and the head of News, Ms. Luchi Cruz-Valdes, would like to apologize for the inordinate delay in the 2nd Presidential debate that was brought about solely by the confusion on the rules implemented by the COMELEC on the Debate. In the end, the Management of TV5, the COMELEC and the presidential candidates, have agreed that despite the technical and procedural issues, it is more important to allow the debate to proceed and not deprive the public of their right to witness this historical, exciting and Aksyon-filled event.”
During the recorded video prior to the debate, Binay wanted to push for the debate to continue and allow him to use his documents.
“Ano ba ang diperensya na ipagpatuloy natin ito? Sila ho naghanda ng walang notes. Ako naghanda ng may notes. Ang importante ho nito sumunod kami sa time requirement (What’s the problem here if we go on? You prepared without notes, I prepared with notes. What is important is we will follow the time requirement),” said Binay.
He said his explanations would be better if he has documents.
But PDP-Laban bet Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said they cannot use Binay’s documents because they do not know its authenticity.
“”The problem is we do not have the procedure or the modality where we can confront the authenticity of his documents,” Duterte said.
“There is going to be an aberration here, I’m sure if you are going to use that documents,” he added.
Former Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas said there had been meetings with all the representatives of the candidates and that they were reminded that there should be no notes during the debate.
In a statement, vice presidential candidate Senator Alan Peter Cayetano said Binay is “trying to alter the rules of the debate, which he said shows clear proof that the Vice President would do anything to evade corruption allegations being thrown against him and his family.”
“He is running for president but he can’t even debate without notes? How can the vice president present himself as this country’s next president if he cannot even participate in a debate where corruption is among the most important issues?” the senator said.
Meanwhile, Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimente, president of PDP Laban, said Binay was acting “prima donna”.
“Rules are rules. You are all presidential candidates. Dapat walang feeling na mas lamang ka sa isa o mas importante ka sa isa o prima donna ka.” (davaotoday.com)