By Analou De Vera
The National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) is supporting the proposal of having the national and local election candidates to participate in debates ahead of electoral exercises.
“We support and endorse the initiative to make mandatory for candidates to attend election debates, at least once,” said Namfrel secretary general Eric Alvia.
Recently, Siquijor Rep. Ramon Rocamora filed House Bill 8549 that seeks to require election candidates to participate in debates organized by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Alvia said that debates will help the voters scrutinize the candidates’ position on certain issues and how will they solve it.
“This will elevate the election campaign to focus on issues and solutions as articulated by the candidates themselves, which allows the voters to assess performance and demand accountability once they are elected to a public post,” he said.
During the preparation for the May 2016 general elections, the Comelec conducted three presidential debates and a lone debate for the then vice presidential candidates.