8 Senate bets to test mettle in Harapan 2019's second run


Posted at Feb 24 2019 12:20 PM | Updated as of Feb 24 2019 10:39 PM

8 Senate bets to test mettle in Harapan 2019's second run 1
The second batch of candidates attending the ABS-CBN Harapan 2019 Senatorial Town Hall Debate pose for a group photo after the face-off on February 24, 2019. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- Eight senatorial candidates will vie for the public's support as they tackle pressing national concerns at the second installment of "Harapan 2019: The ABS-CBN Senatorial Town Hall Debate" series on Sunday.

The second of the 3-part series will be aired live at 7 p.m. on the ABS-CBN News Channel, DZMM TeleRadyo, iWant, news.abs-cbn.com and other ABS-CBN platforms online. On ABS-CBN Channel 2, viewers may catch the debates on "Sunday’s Best," after "Gandang Gabi Vice."

Among confirmed guests are former Pagsanjan, Laguna Mayor Abner Afuang, former Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares, independent candidate Agnes Escudero, and former federalism Consultative Committee spokesperson Ding Generoso.

Opposition candidates Magdalo Party-list Rep. Gary Alejano, election lawyer Romulo Macalintal, former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and human rights lawyer Erin Tañada are also expected to attend.


Four bets who initially confirmed their attendance could no longer make it to the debates due to a campaign rally with President Rodrigo Duterte in Cebu.

Among them were former national police and corrections bureau chief Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa, Maguindanao Rep. Zajid Mangudadatu, reelectionist Senator JV Ejercito and former Interior Secretary Rafael Alunan.

Former Sen. Sergio "Serge" Osmeña III also backed out of the debate.

Harapan 2019 will follow a "town hall" format that will allow candidates to air their views on key national issues raised by the Filipino public. The debates will be hosted by veteran journalists Karen Davila and Alvin Elchico.

DZMM and ANC will host specials 30 minutes before and after the debates to give viewers a behind-the-scenes peek and insights into the May senatorial race.

Harapan 2019: Where to watch on TV, online, in PH, or overseas
The first run of Harapan 2019 last Feb. 17 topped local and international trending lists on social media.

The maiden offering featured candidates Bam Aquino, Glenn Chong, Chel Diokno, Larry Gadon, Samira Gutoc, Florin Hilbay, Jiggy Manicad, Willie Ong and Francis Tolentino. Reelectionist Koko Pimentel backed out, citing matters he had to attend to.

The last installment of the debate is scheduled on March 3.