No more time: Comelec nixes senatorial debate ahead of May 13 polls

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 04 2019 12:53 PM | Updated as of Mar 04 2019 02:43 PM

MANILA- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is unlikely to host an official debate for senatorial candidates running in the May 13 elections.

Poll body chief Sheriff Abas said Monday the Comelec does not have enough time to sponsor an official debate and would instead support debates organized by media companies.

"So far, ang problema oras. Wala na kaming oras for an official debate," he told CNN Philippines show "The Source."

(The problem is time. We don't have enough time for an official debate.)

Abas explained that unlike the presidential elections, candidates during the midterm polls are far too many, making it difficult to stage a debate.

There are 62 candidates running for senator for the upcoming polls.

"Ito nasa 62, even the platform, system ng debate, nahirapan din ang mga (television) networks," Abas said.

"Mahirap siya buuin for a midterm election," he added.

Opposition slate Otso Diretso earlier asked the Comelec to facilitate a public debate among senatorial candidates.

Administration-backed Hugpong ng Pagbabago chair and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio meanwhile called for a rules-based debate organized by a third party.