Skip to main content

Do We Really Need A Presidential Debate?

By Jes Tirol - Bohol Chronicle

Proem

There is a controversial move to hold a debate between the candidates for President of the Philippines. It is controversial because one candidate, particularly Fernando Poe Jr. (FPJ) is not inclined to participate. It is said that if FPJ will not participate, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) will not participate also.

What is a Debate?

A debate is defined as a formal contest in argumentation conducted between persons taking opposite sides of a question.

The presentation of arguments in a debate is an art. It requires special training. Among the five presidential candidates, it is Ex-Senator Raul Roco who had that special training and experience in the art of debating. He would be the giant among pygmies. In other words it would be an unequal fight.

In 1998 when GMA was a vice-presidential candidate, she did not participate in a debate because she knew that she was no match to Senator Angara. Despite her refusal she still won as Vice President of the Philippines. Nobody belittled her for not participating in the debate.

Debate is Passé?

In previous times the formal public debate was very popular. Different schools have their debating team. In fact the most famous debating team was composed of students from the University of the Philippines. It was led by Carlos P. Romulo and included the Boholano Jacinto Castel Borja. The team was undefeated in fourteen (14) debates against American University student debating teams on the issue of Philippine independence.

However, upon declaration of martial law in 1972 the popularity of debating teams disappeared. Until the present you can hardly witness a contest between debating teams.

Educational Emphasis

When Philippines democracy was restored in 1986, the atmosphere had changed. The schools no longer gave emphasis in debating but in "consensus building." The aim is no longer to convince the other side to follow your viewpoint but to compromise to have a win-win situation. Even today, the different Non-Government Organization (NGO) use the technique of consensus building.

Candidates' Forum is "In"

The educational establishment views "concensus building" as very democratic. In the field of politics the "Candidates' Forum" has substituted the "Candidates' Debate." The Candidates' Forum is more of a consultation than argumentation. It is not necessary that all the candidates will be on stage at the same time. It is possible to have the candidates appear one by one just like an applicant for a job.

Noblesse Oblige

Noblesse oblige (nobles' oblezh') is a French word that means that those of high social position must behave generously or nobly toward others, especially the lower class of society.

In recent years the behavioral trend of Filipinos is towards noblesse oblige. They are not looking for someone who is a good speaker or brilliant in mind but someone who truly represents the concept of noblesse oblige. Maybe this is a reaction to the experience undergone with President Ferdinand Marcos who was a good speaker and brilliant in mind.

So nowadays you will see the politicians pandering to the desires of the voters.

Popular posts from this blog

Panglao Bohol International Airport Update

The Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) has endorsed Gov. Erico Aumentado's request to frontload the 2010 budget for the Panglao Bohol International Airport to 2009.
  In a letter to Budget and Management Secretary Rolando Andaya, DOTC Secretary Leandro Mendoza favorably endorsed Aumentado's request seeking the frontloading, citing among other reasons, that 2010 is an election year.
  As such, Aumentado had explained, Congress might not be able to approve on time the calendar year 2010 General Appropriations Act (GAA), giving the country no other choice but to operate on a reenacted budget.
  A reenacted budget would jeopardize the airport project, the governor pointed out, because the 2009 budget carries only P307.5 million for the airport. The balance of the amount that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo earlier approved for DOTC to come up with stands at P690,971,398 for a total allocation needed of P998,471,398.
  The Manila International Airport Authority (MI…

Bohol Tourist Spots - Bohol Attractions

Heading east from Tagbilaran along the south coast takes you first to the coastal fishing town of BOOL , 5km away. Said to be the oldest settlement on the island, it's also the site of the  Blood Compact Site, marked by an attractive bronze sculpture on the seafront. This is the spot where local chieftain Rajah Sikatuna and Miguel Lopez de Legazpi concluded an early round of Philippine–Spanish hostili-ties in 1565 by signing a compact in blood. Every year for one week in July, Boholanos gather in Bool for the  Sandugo  (One Blood)  festival  which, apart from the usual beauty pageants and roast pigs, includes a passionate re-enactment of the blood ceremony.
About 2km east of Bool, BACLAYON  is the site of  Baclayon Church, the oldest stone church in the Philippines. Much of the existing facade was added by the Augustinian Recollects in the nineteenth century, but the rest dates back to 1595 and was declared a national historical landmark in 1995. The church's convent has been t…

Philippine Mining Service Corporation

The Philippine Mining Service Corporation has inaugurated Friday the Jetty Pier expansion project located at the company's compound of this limestone-rich town. 
PMSC assistant department manager for operations Winston Bolo said the project is part of the development thrusts of the company and to address the needs of its clientele. 
The inauguration was graced by resident manager Paul M. Espina and vice-president for operations Hitoshi Sato and top guns of the company. 
Unveiling of the marker and ribbon-cutting were administered by Mr. Osamu Makimoto, PMSC president and Yosuke Tomida, PMSC vice-president and treasurer and Mayor Myrna Naldoza Schreurs and other guests. 
Blessing of the new facility was officiated by Rev. Fr. Sabino Rebosura II then turnover of the project by Mr. Takashi Shibuya, Jetty Pier project manager, to Mr. Sato. Mr. Arturo Bajao, assistant manager for maintenance did the inaugural heraldry. 
Fellowship dinner and inaugural program that ensued showed Mr. Paul M. …