Monday, March 12, 2007 [ 7:38 AM ]


I have talked to several people who don't believe in debates as means of resolving an issue or as a method to know who is speaking the truth. All I can say is that if a debate is done in the proper procedure, it is one of the best ways to determine who's the one who knows what he is talking about.

Though we can see the intellectual capability of a person through their speeches and written works, it would still be much better if those speeches and written materials are put to test. How do we know if a horse can run fast? Put it to a race. In a political arena, a debate is just one of those races where we can put a horse to test. Politicians are known to be good speakers who almost always talk their way to their constituents. So, how do we know who speaks with sense and who's just mocking us with their shallow eloquence? A debate is a sure stuff to know which is which because it is a venue where every single word spoken will surely be challenged and meticulously contested through every single point of argument.

In such a forum, it will be the people who will decide. Whoever they percieved as the less wounded and able to stand in the end will be the victor. Our present senatoriables from both the administration and the opposition knows all about this of course. That is why all of them, or so it seems, are willing to engage in such a battle of intellect and platform. But believe me, I doubt if everyone of them can really stand firm under cross examination. Setting that aside, there are still factors that these two parties are arguing about why a debate cannot push through. The theme and the venue. The administration party wants it done in Manila hotel, which is a confined venue suitable for businessmen and the opposition on the other hand wants it done in the plain public view particularly in Plaza Miranda. The administration wants to address the elite and the opposition wants to deal with the common folks. Well, I can't see any problem with that...just do both.

They can have two separate debates in two separate venues to satisfy both of them. Or they could use the more convenient and safer way to hold a debate, broadcast it. On TV, anyone can watch the debate. More than the people who will gather in Plaza Miranda and even more than the businessmen Manila hotel can accomodate will benefit from it. From the richest politician of Batanes to the poorest voter of Jolo, anyone can witness the clash of ideas these candidates will have. Just make it like the impeachment trial of former president Estrada where any network can cover and for sure voters will be more than willing to watch that debate. Not to mention the fact that Filipinos love telenovelas. The voters do not mind where. What they care about is what these candidates will say and what platform they will offer. If the administration wants to tackle the economic gains of the country so be it. If the opposition wants to tackle the extra judicial killings so be it. For as long as they are willing to undergo cross examination and to accept questions either from a panel or from the viewers it will be okay. We just need to hear them to know who deserves a senate seat. Trust me we will know, so lets hear it.

{Thanks to ANC, they will have a series of senatorial debates every Mondays, Wedenesdays and Fridays that will start tonight @ 6pm.} ...sadly not everyone has cable channels so I still hope that that kind of event will also be made in UHF channels.