Almost a month after the 2nd round of the presidential debate, netizens and supporters of presidential aspirant Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” C. Binay continue to seek for “justice” when their bet was blamed for the delay of the event. The debate held at the University of the Philippines in Cebu City was originally scheduled for 5 p.m. on March 20, but it was delayed for more than an hour as candidates and one of the organizers, TV5, sorted out what moderator Luchi Cruz-Valdez said was a miscommunication between her and Binay’s camp.
Cruz-Valdez already issued a public apology, but it seems like it was not enough for Binay’s supporters. They blamed the TV5 executive’s lapse for the Vice President’s low rating in the recent surveys of the two leading pollsters—the Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia.
Binay was initially allowed to bring his notes for the debate but the Commission on Elections disallowed this. Cruz-Valdez claimed she was not informed of the rules. Because of the confusion, the event, hosted by Comelec, KBP, TV5, Philippine Star, and RMN, started at around 6:30 p.m.
I blame the organizers of the debate, particularly Cruz-Valdez. To me, she appeared funny for admitting to not knowing that candidates are not allowed to bring notes. Was she not aware of the first presidential debate in Cagayan de Oro where Comelec had called the attention of those who brought out notes during the debate?
Not everybody’s aware of the real reason for the delay. So people kept on blaming Binay and this is so unfair. Even more lamentable was administration standard bearer Manuel Roxas II for blaming Binay, even if he fully knew what happened.
An injustice has been committed against our “president.”
Rocky Ducayag is a Kalinga-based businessman who serves as Binay’s provincial political coordinator.