Gordon to government: Sponsor debates among candidates
DAGUPAN CITY – Senatorial candidate Richard Gordon urged the national government to sponsor a debate over television among the political candidates in the 2016 elections, to educate the voters about the programs of government the candidates would pursue.
“If there are no debates, the popular would win, the unsuitable (candidates) would win. In the end, they voters are the losers,” Gordon, who was here to meet with Philippine Red Cross volunteers, told reporters.
But he pointed out that the event won’t necessarily be a debate among the candidates, but a symposium,during which the candidates could elaborate on their programs and advocacy.
“This won’t just be for national candidates but also for local candidates,” he said, citing the debates sponsored by big international networks like CNN and BBC.
Gordon said the debates over the airwaves must be sponsored by the government to give the candidates an equal opportunity to introduce themselves to the voters.
If no debates are held, the voters would rely on the political advertisements which are “very expensive” and on surveys, as their basis for selecting whom to vote, he said.
“TV ads cost P89,000 per 30 second during primetime,”he said, adding that a senator may have to spend P200 million for his campaign if the government does not support the ads of the candidates.
“If I have P200 million, I can buy 200 tructors to rehabilitate areas in central Luzon and Pangasinan which were destroyed by typhoon Lando. I can build maybe 200 houses. I can send hundreds of thousands of students to school.
Its a tremendous amount which not all candidates have, or not willing to spend, so they accept donations for their campaign.
Gordon questioned how a president could claim that the people are his bosses if he accepted donations in millions of pesos from businessmen, friends and others.
“What if you are a legislator and you are pushing a law that would affect the donor? Would you still push that law?” he said.
Gordon also said that he likes surveys as they teach the candidates where to do and what to do, sometimes surveys are used by candidates. “Like you are a candidate na urong-sulong, tataas talaga siya. Is that justified? Are we serving the country?” he said. He was referring to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterto who topped a survey in Metro Manila after he announced he was joining the presidential race.
Aside from sponsoring the debates, Gordon said the national government must actually fund the political parties.
“There are too many political parties now. They do not select anymore who are suitable members. There is actually no party system anymore. Some even buy political party which is a travesty. So the goverment should provide money for the political party so these can develop,” he said.
The government should provide money for the political parties,”
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