‘So far, so good’: Comelec says Day 1 of candidates forum in Davao del Norte successful

Apr. 15, 2016

Tagum Candidates Forum

TAGUM CITY – ​T​he Commission on Elections here said ​it was satisfied with the result of the first day of the Candidates Forum 2016 held on Thursday, April 14 in partnership with the Philippine Information Agency.

“So far, so good. All the candidates followed our set of rules and guidelines and we are happy about that,” said Atty. Jennifer Ancla, provincial election supervisor. The forum on Thursday had two parts which include the forum between the candidates for the gubernatorial and vice gubernatorial posts, and the forum between the candidates for the first congressional district of Davao del Norte province.

Unlike the PiliPinas presidential debate, the Candidates Forum only allows the candidates to answer questions from the panelists. Candidates’ supporters and the audience is also prohibited to boo or heckle other candidates.

Each candidate was given two minutes to answer a question from the panelists, and another 30-seconds to answer the follow up question.

“Our purpose is not to hold a debate among the candidates, but we would like to listen, hear from them what will be their stand on some issues affecting our country for the next three years,” said PIA Regional Director Efren Elbanbuena said. He said the event is the only forum that they will hold in Region 11.

Elbanbuena added that he hopes the forum will help the electorate in Davao del Norte to decide “who is the most deserving leader to lead us in the next three years.”

The forum was attended by two candidates for the gubernatorial post: incumbent first district Rep. Anthony G. Del Rosario and incumbent vice governor, Victor Suaybaguio Jr. Meanwhile, only Board Member Alan Dujali, running mate of Del Rosario, attended the forum. His rival, former Davao del Norte Provincial Police Office Deputy Police Superintendent Jessie Estrada was reportedly unable to attend because he is sick.

​The five candidates for the first congressional district in Davao del Norte were all present. The candidates were: former Representatives Pantaleon Alvarez of PDP-Laban and Arrel Olaño, Atty. Emmanuel “Saboy” Mahipus, Tagum City Councilor Nicandro Suaybaguio and Richard Dexter Welborn. Former congressman Tony Boy Floirendo was the lone candidate for the second congressional district.

Ancla said the province of Davao del Norte has more than 405,000 voters. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, Davao del Norte has 464,791 registered voters in 2010.

The forum will continue on Friday, April 15 for the voters to hear the local candidates running for mayor and vice mayor in Tagum City, Panabo City and the Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos) elections. (davaotoday.com)

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