PiliPinas Debates 2016

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PiliPinas Debates 2016
PiliPinas debate 2016 logo.jpg
Title card used during the first and last leg of the debates
Created byCOMELEC
Developed byVarious
Presented byVaries per leg
Opening themePili Pinas
by Gravity
Ending themePili Pinas
by Gravity
Country of originPhilippines
No. of episodes4 (list of episodes)
Production location(s)4 locations
Running time124 minutes
Original networkGMA Network
(Mindanao leg)
(Visayas leg)
(Luzon leg)
CNN Philippines
(Vice President leg)
Original releaseFebruary 21 (2016-02-21) –
April 24, 2016 (2016-04-24)

PiliPinas Debates 2016 is a debate series administered by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) with the assistance of KBP (the Filipino broadcasters' association) in preparation for the May 9, 2016 general elections.

The first leg was held on February 21 at the Mini-Theater Building of the Capitol University in Cagayan de Oro. It aired on GMA Network and was simulcast on Super Radyo DZBB, RGMA stations and KBP-affiliated member radio stations nationwide (GMA was a KBP member from April 1973 until the said network withdrew from its membership in September 2003). A live stream of the event was also made available. The Mindanao leg was moderated by Mike Enriquez and Jessica Soho of GMA Network and John Nery of inquirer.net.[1]

The Visayas leg was aired simultaneously over TV5, AksyonTV, Bloomberg TV Philippines, Radyo5 92.3 News FM and KBP-affiliated member radio stations nationwide. Live streaming was also made available via news5.com.ph, bilangpilipino.com and YouTube. It was moderated by News5 chief Luchi Cruz-Valdez.

CNN Philippines hosted the Vice Presidential Debate last April 10, 2016. It was moderated by Pia Hontiveros and Pinky Webb.

The third and last leg of PiliPinas Debates 2016 was held on April 24 at the Student Plaza, University of Pangasinan in Dagupan.[2] It aired simultaneously in SD and HD over ABS-CBN, ABS-CBN News Channel and SD over ABS-CBN Sports and Action, DZMM Radyo Patrol 630/TeleRadyo, ABS-CBN Regional stations, The Filipino Channel (for international viewers) and KBP-affiliated member radio stations nationwide. Live streaming was also made available via news.abs-cbn.com, tfc.tv (for international viewers), mb.com.ph, iWant TV, Sky On Demand (for SkyCable and Destiny Cable postpaid subscribers) and ABS-CBN News official YouTube channel. The Luzon leg was moderated by veteran anchors, Karen Davila and Tony Velasquez.

Broadcast and coverage[edit]

In January 2016, the Commission on Elections confirmed that they would hold three presidential debates and one vice presidential debate. This will be the first time that the COMELEC will host debates since the 1992 elections, with ABC-5 as the host network (fresh from the launch of the recently restored broadcast network last February 21 of the same year, after a 20-year rest due to Martial Law).[3]

The debates were branded as PiliPinas Debates 2016.[4] The first word is a portmanteau of Pili, Filipino for "choose" and Pinas, shortcut for the Philippines in Filipino.

Host cities of the debates
Office Date Media partners Location
TV Network Newspaper Leg Host City University
President February 21, 2016 GMA Network Philippine Daily Inquirer Mindanao
Cagayan de Oro Capitol University
March 20, 2016 TV5 Philippine Star
Cebu City University of the Philippines Cebu[5]
April 24, 2016 ABS-CBN Manila Bulletin Luzon
Dagupan University of Pangasinan
Vice President April 10, 2016 CNN Philippines Business Mirror Metro Manila
Manila University of Santo Tomas

Online media and the debates[edit]

On February 19, 2016, Rappler sued COMELEC chairman Andres Bautista for “granting exclusive broadcasting and livestreaming rights to handpicked media partners" before the Supreme Court, not allowing online media to live stream the events. Rappler asked the high court to intervene to allow the debates to be streamed by more than one outlet.[6]

The social service claimed that the memorandum of understanding excluded online media from covering and streaming the debate; Bautista countered, stating that Rappler was being unprofessional and that they should have read the contract they signed. Rappler countered by saying it had raised the issues with Bautista and signed the agreement, believing in good faith that COMELEC would resolve the issues. Rappler's lawyer, JJ Disini, said the process for selecting media outlets could have been more transparent; he also expressed concern that the state-owned PTV-4 network was excluded from the agreement.[6]


In the table below, the blue numbers represent the lowest ratings and the red numbers represent the highest ratings.

Date TV network Leg Kantar Media (Nationwide)[7][8][9] AGB Nielsen (Mega Manila)[10][11][12]
February 21, 2016 GMA Network Mindanao
23.8% 25.3%
March 20, 2016 TV5 Visayas
8.5% 11.2%
April 24, 2016 ABS-CBN Luzon
40.6% 27.9%


The debates was criticized for many things: When GMA aired the first round, commercials were aired a lot than the debate proper. On TV5, the debate was delayed for several hours when Binay forces the documents. ABS-CBN was criticized for grooming Mar Roxas that they almost spoon fed him answers.


 P  Participated  A  Absent
Presidential debates
Location Jejomar Binay Miriam
Defensor Santiago
Grace Poe Mar Roxas
Leg Host city Jejomar Binay.jpg Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago (cropped).jpg Rodrigo Duterte 2013.jpg Grace Poe-Llamanzares portrait.jpg Mar Roxas 082014.jpg
Cagayan de Oro P P P P P
Cebu City P A[a] P P P
Dagupan P P P P P
Vice Presidential debate
Location Alan
Leg Host city Senator Alan Peter S. Cayetano (cropped).jpg Chiz.jpg Gringo Honasan.jpg Bongbong Marcos.jpg Leni Robredo (2).jpg Antonio F. Trillanes IV.jpg
Metro Manila
Manila P P P P P P

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Santiago was absent in the second debate due to cancer treatment.[13]


  1. ^ Legaspi, Amita (21 February 2016). "Five presidential hopefuls face off in historic PiliPinas Debates 2016". GMA News. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  2. ^ Dimalanta, Ces (March 28, 2016). "Last leg of presidential debate to avoid pitfalls, flaws of previous face-offs". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  3. ^ Esmaquel II, Paterno (2015-10-15). "Presidential debates: 'Ayaw natin ng duwag' – Comelec". Rappler. Retrieved 2016-03-14.
  4. ^ "6 presidential bets confirm attendance to Comelec debates". Philippine Star. January 21, 2016.
  5. ^ Sibi, Juli Ann (February 22, 2016). "UP Cebu to host presidential debate". Cebu Daily News. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Comelec calls Rappler 'unprofessional' for filing charges over MOA on election debates". CNN Philippines. 20 February 2016. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  7. ^ "National TV Ratings (February 19-21, 2016)". ABS-CBN Social Media Newsroom. February 22, 2016.
  8. ^ "National TV Ratings (March 17-20, 2016)". ABS-CBN Social Media Newsroom. March 21, 2016.
  9. ^ "National TV Ratings (April 22-24, 2016)". ABS-CBN Social Media Newsroom. April 25, 2016.
  10. ^ "AGB Nielsen: Mega Manila TV Ratings – February 19-21, 2016 "PiliPinas Debates 2016" tops Sunday daytime; "24 Oras" takes primetime top spot". LionHearTV. February 25, 2016.
  11. ^ "AGB Nielsen: Mega Manila TV Ratings – March 18 – March 20, 2016 "Lip Sync Battle Philippines" remains the most-watched Saturday program; TV5's "PiliPinas Debates 2016" fails to beat "24 Oras"". LionHearTV. March 24, 2016.
  12. ^ "AGB Nielsen: Mega Manila TV Ratings – April 21 – 24, 2016 "Pepito Manaloto" bumps off "Lip Sync Battle Philippines" to get the top spot on Saturday; ABS-CBN's "PiliPinas Debate 2016" most viewed program on Sunday". LionHearTV. March 24, 2016.
  13. ^ "Miriam Santiago pulls out of second leg of presidential debates". 17 March 2016. Retrieved 20 March 2016.

External links[edit]