STRONG BETS SKIP AFFAIR
Not really a failure, but perhaps they were just overtaken by the on-slaught of cyber technology that the traditional candidate’s forum may not be as a success as it was before when all the people did was attend public rallies to see and listen to their favorite candidates.
Not a single gubernatorial and congressional bet showed up at the Candidates Forum open salvo last week, except the independents who came.
However, the city mayoral and vice-mayoral candidates were in full force in last Thursday’s edition. All city mayor candidates incumbent Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo, former City Administrator William Ablong and Quirino Ramirez and vice-mayoral bets incumbent Vice-Mayor Franklin Esmeña, Jr. and Councilor Alan Gel Cordova.
In the first edition, Governor Roel Degamo his challenger Board Member Jessica Villanueva and incumbent 2nd District Congressman Manuel Sagarbarria failed to attend the forum leaving an almost empty stage with just two little known candidates in attendance.
It was learned that at the time, Degamo had to be in Bonawon Siaton for the fiesta celebration while BM Villanueva was in Bindoy also for the same reason. Cong. Sagarbarria was also in another engagement. The candidates sent letters to the DEB explaining their absences.
Rallies can now be covered “live” via Facebook by just any cellphone capable user and can be seen worldwide. Candidates’ platforms and debates can now be ventilated in social media 24/7 where 52Million Filipinos own a cell phone and can view, read, and review every platform and lies of candidates.
Candidates now have radio and TV airtime even daily airings. They have a record where their mobile barkers roam around the streets to announce their candidacies.
All candidates were given 5 minutes each to bare their platforms of government and 1 minute each to answer the question from the panel of reactors composed of members of the clergy and academe.
There will be a different schedule for Dumaguete City councilors, 1st District, 3rd District of Negros Oriental and Siquijor province.
The church-backed forum aims to educate the voters so they can arrive at an informed decision on May 13 while advocating for Clean, Honest, Accurate, Meaningful, and Peaceful (CHAMP) elections
Like in the first salvo of the Candidates Forum initiated by the diocesan electoral board, the gubernatorial candidates and congressional bets were all no show except for the independents who have no other fora to ventilate their issues.
But in fairness, they all gave the good padre Heruella an “excuse letter” like a student of politics who had other things to do.
In the city mayoral forum, both candidates Felipe Remollo and William Ablong were there last Thursday including their vice mayors like GG Esmeña and Alan Cordova.
The old traditional methods were still used like a limited speech time and limited interpellation by the panel. The crowd of people were not allowed to shoot questions but hand it over in a piece of paper to the panel.
Anyhow, we expect the municipal candidates’ fora to be more successful. We hope they will have the audience they desire to attend at that nightly extravaganza wherein we doff our hats to its organizers.