MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) and Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP) on Thursday signed a partnership agreement to stage a series of panel interviews with presidential and vice presidential candidates in place of the botched PiliPinas Debates.
Comelec chairperson Saidamen Pangarungan thanked the KBP for coming to their rescue amid the cancellation of the town hall debates.
"We are especially grateful to the KBP who agreed to facilitate the taped presidential interviews at no cost to the Comelec," Pangarungan said.
The town hall debates were scuttled following the failure of Impact Hub Manila to pay Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila.
The Comelec agreed with the KBP to adopt a taped panel interview format "to overcome the challenge of scheduling with the candidates because we are aware that their schedules are full for the final days of the campaign."
Comelec commissioner George Garcia said candidates who decline to participate in the KBP forum won’t be allowed to use the Comelec’s e-rally channel.
KBP board director Roberto Barreiro, who is also partnerships head of ABS-CBN, said they have a schedule of airing drawn up.
Garcia said the schedule of airing of the interviews will be decided by lottery.
It will be aired from 10 a.m. to 12 noon in KBP member networks.
Barreiro said even non-KBP members may carry the interviews.
"It will get to air in the remotest barangays," Barreiro said.
Garcia said the questions will be incisive as he stressed that this is the last chance for candidates to make their case to the public.
”Ayaw natin parang pini-PR tayo,” Garcia said.
According to the Comelec-KBP guidelines, the panel interviews, to be known as “The PiliPinas Forum 2022,” shall be a series of one-hour panel interview sessions between a single candidate or team of candidates (President and Vice-President), conducted by a panel of broadcast anchors drawn from KBP-member networks.
The list of anchors submitted by the networks include Rico Hizon (CNN), Pinky Webb (CNN), Cesar Chavez (MBC), Angelo Palmones (MBC), Deo Macalma (MBC), Elmar Acol (Bombo Radyo), Jane Buna (Bombo Radyo), Pia Hontiveros (CNN), Ricky Rosales (CNN), Karmina Constantino (ABS-CBN), Jay Taruc (TV5), Cheryl Cosim (TV5), Ed Lingao (TV5) and Tony Velasquez (ABS-CBN).
“From this pool of anchors, several panels will be assembled. The members of each three-member panel shall be assigned by the KBP with the concurrence of the Comelec. The assignment of a panel to a specific candidate or team of candidates shall likewise be done by the drawing of lots," the guidelines said.