Let’s Get the Debate On

By Ricky Gelido
Posted by Bulatlat

The political cauldron is getting hot. And it is expected to get hotter until May 14, the voting day. The intensity could even extend until the counting of the last vote.

Since the onset of the campaign period, political gimmickry has permeated all over the country. Politicos have been trying their best to attract votes. They have been going to the provinces, going down to the level of the masses. They have even been using the political ads as a formidable weapon. The Genuine Opposition [GO] and Team Unity [TU] senatoriables may still be keeping their aces and secret weapons.

But there’s one exciting part of the senatorial derby. One good idea worth watching is the proposed debate among the senatorial candidates.

The debate must not only revolve around economic issues. There are more important issues that must be dealt with. The peace and order and the extra judicial killings that have been [included] the fodder of the international news must not be forgotten. Issues that concern the problems of the Filipino people, especially the poor ones, must be tackled.

The GO wants the debate to be staged at the historic Plaza Miranda; the TU insists it must be in the Manila Hotel. Obviously, each party is proposing where each “homecourt advantage” could be enjoyed. If it is in Plaza Miranda, hecklers and even terrorists could be there. Plaza Miranda bombing could not be far from being [to be] repeated. If it is in Manila Hotel, the opposition would cry foul. To be fair and be assured of safety, why not hold the debate in a disinterested TV station?

This debate could be a way of knowing who will best continue the legacy of the eloquent and brilliant leaders like Claro M. Recto, Lorenzo Tanada, Ninoy Aquino, Camilo Osias, Arturo Tolentino, Ferdinand Marcos, Rene Saguisag, Jovito Salonga, Blas Ople, Raul Roco, Amang Rodriguez, Manuel L. Quezon, Jose Diokno and Jose P. Laurel among others.

In a country of politicians who have embraced the idea of turncoatism, in an age where Filipino people have become seemingly silent lambs, at a time that part – if not the majority – of the electorate is angry over what have been ripping the country, this debate could make a difference. This debate could showcase the best among the senatorial candidates. It could also unveil the candidates who are simply blabbermouths.

The Senate is an august body that should be composed of illustrious and well-principled men. Hence, the public should gauge each candidate very well. All the beliefs and ideas of the candidates must be laid out to the electorate. All must be sacrificed in the altar of public scrutiny. And then let the people be the judge who will best step in the springboard of Philippine Presidents.

Let all the parameters of the debate set the soonest. Let all the Team Unity candidates get ready. Let all the Genuine Opposition candidates be ready. Then let’s get on with it!(Bulatlat.com)

Ricky Gelido, 26 years old, is from Pangasinan.

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