DAGUPAN CITY, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – In the U.S., news outlets can make a prediction about the winner in an election just minutes after the polls close — based on exit polls. In the Philippines, an election can be called for a candidate 15 days before the polls open.
That’s exactly what happened at last night’s third and final presidential debate held in Dagupan City, Pangasinan. It was hosted by the ABS-CBN television network which has been accused of being biased in favor of the Liberal Party. (President Aquino’s sister and talk show host was a mainstay at the network before announcing her retirement).
In the heat of the debate, ABS-CBN journalist and moderator Tony Velasquez addressed Roxas as “Mr. Vice President” to the delight of the other candidates, incumbent Vice President Jojo Binay, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Senators Grace Poe and Miriam Defensor-Santiago.
One person who was not happy about the premature call was Leni Robredo who of course is the real candidate of the Liberal Party running for vice president.
So the race for president has now been reduced to four instead of five candidates.
Thank you, ABS-CBN!