MANILA, Philippines – ABS-CBN, Manila Bulletin, the Commission on Elections (Comelec), the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), and the representatives of the five presidential candidates forged an agreement today (April 14) for the staging of the upcoming Pili Pinas 2016 Presidential Town Hall Debate on April 24, dubbed as the final showdown of the presidential debates before the May 9 polls.
By signing the MOA, Vice President Jejomar Binay, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Senator Grace Poe, and former Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas have all agreed to the format and mechanics of the Luzon leg of the Pili Pinas 2016 Debate series, which will be held at the Phinma University of Pangasinan. Present in the signing were ABS-CBN Integrated News and Current Affairs head Ging Reyes, Manila Bulletin editor-in-chief Dr. Jun Icban, KBP chairman Herman Basbano, and the candidates’ representatives: Atty. George Garcia for Sen. Grace Poe, Atty. Antonio Kho for Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Atty. Abel Manlaque for Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Atty. Jay Layug for Vice President Jejomar Binay, and Atty. Concepcion Mendoza for DILG secretary Mar Roxas.
With a town hall format, the debate aims to bring forward the true sentiment of the people by having ordinary Filipinos ask the candidates about the pressing issues in society. The topics were carefully selected from entries submitted by the general public to ABS-CBN. Issues that will be tackled in the debate include metro traffic and public transport, job security, health, foreign policy, basic public education, OFW concerns, and peace for Mindanaoans in conflict areas. There will also be a “Face-Off,” where a candidate will pose questions to a fellow candidate.
ABS-CBN’s top news anchors Karen Davila and Tony Velasquez will moderate the town hall debate.
The Pili Pinas 2016 Presidential Town Hall Debate will air on April 24, Sunday, at 5:45pm on ABS-CBN. Debate proper begins at 6pm. There will also be a “HALALAN 2016 Debate Special” on ANC, the ABS-CBN News Channel, DZMM/Teleradyo, and News.abs-cbn.com beginning 5pm that will provide in-depth analysis before and after the debate.
Those who will view the debate via livestreaming on news.abs-cbn.com will also get an additional treat as TJ Manotoc will host an online show during commercial gaps of the debate that will focus on the social media buzz related to the presidential town hall debate.