Fireworks is expected in the second presidential debate today, March 20, in the University of the Philippines Cebu City especially between Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Jejomar Binay.
The Binay camp had earlier accused Duterte of anomaly over the Commission on Audit report that the city’s 46 million pesos Special Education Fund was not spent to where it should be spent as mandated by law.
Republic Act No 5447 says the SEF should only be used for the following — improving school facilities, printing and acquiring books and other school materials, paying salaries of public school teachers, granting scholarships, and promoting physical education.
However, COA revealed in its 2014 annual audit report that Davao public schools spent P46 million on items and activities that include plane fares of coaches and students, fuel for various vehicles, insurance premiums for vehicles, accident insurance for coaches and students, grocery items, medical supplies, and payment for electricity, water, and telephone bills.
To this, Duterte responded by saying that he would bow out of the presidential race if it’s proven that a single peso was misused. The mayor also challenged Binay for them to withdraw from the presidential race if COA files a case against him.
“Binay, miski isang piso lang nawala sa syudad ko, wiwithdraw ako. Ngayon hahamunin kita. Ako wala pa yan, wala pang COA (report). ‘Yung propaganda mo, naghahanap ka lang ng damay kasi ikaw talaga yung makukulong. Ngayon hahamunin kita. Bilyon-bilyon yung nanakaw mo, magwithdraw tayong dalawa ngayon,” Duterte said.
Today’s presidential debate will be a panel discussion and the candidates will be given longer talking time. The first hour of debate will allow each candidate two minutes to answer and another two minutes for follow-up questions. The second hour will be a toss-up for the five presidential bets to question each other with the same two-minute rule.
It will be aired live over TV5 from 5-8 in the afternoon. Four of five candidates will be present except for Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago.