Press Release
March 28, 2010


Liberal Party vice presidential candidate Senator Mar Roxas today shared the public's disappointment over the cancellation of this Sunday's HARAPAN Tandem Debate as he rued the lost opportunity for the public to know their candidates and their advocacies better.

"It is unfortunate that our fellow candidates had to back out from the debate. The voting public lost a great chance to assess the candidates and pick their choices for the polls," Roxas said.

He said the tandem debate would have tremendously helped voters, especially those who have yet to decide on whom to vote in the May 10 national and local elections. Recent surveys conducted by independent polling firms show that an average of 5% to 15% of the more than 50 million registered voters remain undecided.

Roxas acknowledged that television programs, like last Sunday's 'Harapan: The Vice Presidential Debate', help voters make up their minds on who among the presidential and vice presidential candidates would best serve the Filipinos' needs.

Roxas said he and LP standard-bearer Senator Noynoy Aquino have been looking forward to the tandem debate, just as he was excited about the Vice Presidential debate held at the La Consolacion College grounds last March 21.

"We were ready to go. We know that this Sunday's debate would benefit the Filipino voters," he said, adding that the decision of Nacionalista bets Manuel Villar and Loren Legarda, administration bets Gilbert Teodoro and Edu Manzano, and Partido ng Masang Pilipino bets Joseph Estrada and Jejomar Binay have "left (us) with no choice but to opt out of the program."

"With due respect to Senator Richard Gordon and Bayani Fernando and Bro. Eddie Villanueva and Perfecto Yasay, the tandem debate can no longer be as productive and useful as the organizers and the public wanted in the absence of the other presidential and vice presidential teams," he also said.

"May we put it on record that we have been consistent in our support for your HARAPAN plans since we received your invitation several weeks back, which we proved with our eager participation in the first of the series, the VP DEBATE last Sunday," Roxas said.

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