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Aquino welcomes Villar’s acceptance; calls for meeting to finalize debate

LP standard bearer Noynoy Aquino welcomed NP bet Manny Villar’s acceptance of his challenge to a one-on-one debate and called for a meeting of representatives from both camps to iron out details of the event.

Aquino issued the challenge after Villar failed to attend the presidential forum of the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP). The Senator from Tarlac earlier lamented that the formats for previous presidential debates had constraints that didn’t allow a candidate to “go beyond the sound bite.”

A one-on-one debate, Aquino said, would give voters the opportunity to compare their platforms and allow both candidates to elaborate on their positions on key governance  issues. He said the meeting will focus on the venue, date, format, and other details of the debate.

“I think it’s time to end the proxy war. This would give Sen. Villar a chance to do what he wasn’t able to do on the Senate floor: take direct questions regarding the Senate’s findings on the C-5 deal and other issues that have remained unanswered by him,” he said.

Aquino, on the other hand, welcomed the opportunity to shed light on the allegations raised by Villar’s camp on Hacienda Luisita.

The LP bet said that he also hoped they would tackle other important issues, like their positions on education reforms, taxes, electoral campaign finance reform, foreign policy issues like the VFA and JPEPA, food security, and constitutional amendments.

The LP standard bearer has not ruled out the possibility of including former President Joseph Estrada and Lakas-Kampi bet Gilberto Teodoro in the debate.#

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