ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs aired “Harapan: The ABS-CBN Vice Presidential Debate,” last Sunday (March 21), the first real debate and the first televised outdoor and miting de avance-themed political face-off in this election season. ABS-CBN was the first to use a Wireless Audience Response System (WARS), which allowed randomly selected citizens from Metro Manila, Cebu, Naga City and Davao to decide if they believe the candidate’s answers or not. ABS-CBN’s debate became the 6th highest trending topic on Twitter Sunday night as viewers tweeted comments while watching the show on ABS-CBN, ANC, Studio 23, TFC, and abs-cbnnews.com.
This Sunday, ABS-CBN is supposed to air “Harapan: The ABS-CBN Tandem Debate” featuring the presidential and the vice presidential candidates. However, some candidates backed out and refuse to appear in the live event.
ABS-CBN released a statement regarding this matter:
Voter’s education is at the heart of Ako ang Simula. That’s why we mounted at least a dozen forums and debates in the past few months. This is public service.
The response we received from last week’s Harapan was overwhelming. ABS-CBN set the stage. The questions and reactions – the content of the program – came from candidates and viewers. It is the most interactive debate we have ever had in this country.
We are disappointed key candidates decided they had better things to do than face our nation. It seemed they were driven by fear: afraid to appear together as their party’s president and vice-president; afraid to be immediately judged based on their actions and words.
In the end, we all lose.
Watch the trailer of Harapan here: