I just finished watching the ABS-CBN News Channel’s Elections 2010: A Leadership Forum. It was an interesting two-hour window into the thoughts and feelings of “leaders” who tried and failed to play coy about their presidential aspirations. Tina Palma and Ricky Carandang excellently performed their roles as unbiased agitators, aiming to reveal what is true versus what is political spin.
Those who participated in the leadership forum were Senators Chiz Escudero, Richard Gordon and Mar Roxas; Pampanga Governor Ed Panlilio, and; Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro. Other “leaders” (read: with presidential ambitions) who were invited but unable to attend include Sen. Panfilo Lacson (who was suddenly taken ill the afternoon before the show); VP Noli De Castro, MMDA Chair Bayani Fernando, Sen. Loren Legarda, and Makati City Mayor Jojo Binay. The courageous five were entertaining and informative enough; they’ve whet even further my appetite for the 2010 polls.
For the first part of the show, either Tina or Ricky had a 10-minute one-on-one Q&A with each guest. The questions were basic but sharp and succinct- to peel the spin from the truth. Chiz was asked if he can account for the half-billion fund he received as congressman. Gordon was made to talk about his “dramatic” stand-off when he was removed from the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority. Among Ed was quizzed on his stance on contraception and his apparent inability to get along with his local leaders in Pampanga. Mar Roxas was asked if he was just “using” Korina Sanchez for media mileage. Teodoro was asked if his affluent lineage makes him out of touch with majority of Filipinos.
For the second part, questions were asked by audience members and the panel seated together responded one after another. Questions about Manny Pacquiao, books read or movies seen, and personal heroes were thrown at the leaders for which they were given two minutes each to respond. But for me, the most interesting questions were asked by Tina: will you prosecute the Arroyo family for their alleged criminal activities? The follow-up question was equally interesting: what is one good thing done by the Arroyo administration? Teodoro of course sounded like an Arroyo spokesperson, while Chiz played impeccably his role of opposition whip.
Last part of the forum was a minute-long message to the people by each panelist. The parting shot that appealed to me most was from Chiz Escudero, who said something like: Kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan pero panahon na para ipakita na ang kabataan ay maaasahan ng bayan (The youth are the hope of the nation but it is now time to show that the nation can depend on the youth).
So who scored electoral homeruns? Who should drop out of the race even before declaring their candidacy? To experience their colorful responses yourself, try to catch the repeats of the ANC leadership forum (sorry I can’t find the scheds). Hopefully they’ll also post transcripts of the show at http://www.abs-cbnnews.com