I had rarely stepped into an education institution since I graduated from college four years ago. But yesterday I went to De La Salle Zobel, home of the junior archers, when it hosted “Kilalanin”, a presidential forum. Four candidates vying for the top Philippine post in the 2010 elections were present: Noynoy Aquino, Richard Gordon, Gilbert Teodoro and Manny Villar. News anchor Mike Enriquez moderated the 3-hour event.
Full audio of the forum was posted by its media partner here and below are four media reports about it.
- 4 presidentiables face off at Alabang forum (video)
- Frontrunners Aquino and Villar trade barbs on ads, records
- Presidential campaign gets more pointed
- LP: Survey timed with Villar ads
What’s interesting about recent forums like this is that candidates now use relatively less motherhood statements. There are less of these broad yet good sounding phrases like the ones used by Estrada during the 1998 campaign. Again, they’re still there but spoken less and I’m assuming exaggerated misuse of this deceptive element of political prose would be left on staged rallies.
The stage of Kilalanin has none of the flashy effects and sometimes phony grandiose employed by TV forums. There were some technical troubles but the moderator’s purposive candidness made up for lapses in organisation. There were no timers which made the responses from the candidates casual. Except to one boorish shout that was heard throughout the auditorium in the middle of the event, the audience was participative and civil.
While the presence of fundamental character questions means that our country is still a long way from focusing on platformed governance and we’re still searching a leader of character, with a forum like this, we had a step (however small) forward.