MANILA – Experts from the University of the Philippines (UP) will check claims of candidates appearing in the ABS-CBN election forums as part of an agreement forged Wednesday between the state university and the network.
Fact-checking of election candidates’ claims during debates has been a standard feature in international news coverages. It is being employed on a big scale possibly for the first time in the Philippines.
Dr. Alfredo Pascual, president of the UP System, who spearheaded the formalization of the agreement with ABS-CBN, said he anticipates the fact-checking project to “generate the same excitement here because it is UP who is doing the fact-checking.”
Pascual spearheaded the formalization of the agreement with ABS-CBN, along with UP vice president for public affairs, Prospero de Vera III.
Signing on behalf of ABS-CBN were Integrated News and Current Affairs head Ging Reyes, ABS-CBN President Charo Santos, and ABS-CBN chair and CEO Gabby Lopez III. The signing took place at the ABS-CBN Compound in Quezon City.
Aside from the fact-checking project, ABS-CBN and UP will also be cooperating on a micro-site where overseas Filipino voters can get information on the 2013 elections. The micro-site will be featured in the websites of all UP units and participating UP alumni associates all over the world.
“It is through these coordinated activities, from voter registration to the dissemination of election information flyers, from candidates’ forum to media kapihan sessions, and the use of social media to inform and generate debate that we add UP’s own brand of empowerment. This is the Tatak UP that we will inject into the 2013 elections,” Pascual said.
Santos said she is optimistic that with UP as a partner in the activities leading up to the elections in May 2013, the news coverage of ABS-CBN “will be at its finest.”
UP and ABS-CBN have cooperated in recent months for successful voter registration campaigns in various UP campuses. UP Dean Edna Co of the National College on Public Administration and Governance and Professor de Vera have been featured as political analysts in the programs of ABS-CBN and its affiliates.
UP joins a big roster of partners of the ABS-CBN, ANC, DZMM, abs-cbnnews.com and the Bayan Mo iPatrol Mo: Tayo citizen journalism campaign for the Halalan 2013 coverage. The list so far includes:
Alternative Law Groups
Ateneo School of Government
Commission on Elections
Department of Foreign Affairs-Overseas Absentee Voting Secretariat
Fully Abled Nation through the Asia Foundation and Australian Aid
La Consolacion College
La Salle Institute of Governance
Management Association of the Philippines
Philippine Pastoral College for Responsible Voting
University of Santo Tomas
University of the Philippines-National College on Public Administration and Governance
Youth Vote Philippines