2022 Philippine Elections

KBP Presidential Forum: Your essential reads

Bea Cupin
KBP Presidential Forum: Your essential reads

KBP screenshots

Unpack what happened (and what didn't) through these discussions and stories

The first forum to feature almost all presidential candidates, true to pandemic form, featured what many have had to get used to since 2020: connection issues, minor glitches, and the challenge of communicating effectively – both verbally and non-verbally – through a screen. 

Challenges aside, during the three-hour KBP Presidential Candidates Forum, the presidential hopefuls who did show up had an opportunity to expound on their plans and address issues specific to them on what’s arguably among the biggest media platforms yet.

The Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas, after all, counts more than 100 television and radio stations as its members. 

The forum, which aired over different media television networks and radio stations, also featured moderators and a panel – noticeably all male – from different organizations in the Philippines. 

For Rappler columnist and editorial consultant John Nery, there was one thing that stood out because of the peculiarity of a candidate forum via video conference: their choice of background.

I paid particular attention to the deliberate images they had chosen. Yes, I certainly saw that in [Manila Mayor Isko Moreno] ‘yung barong, blue drapes and so on, [Senator Ping Lacson] had a flag beside him, although his setting was a little more informal. [Senator Manny Pacquiao] had a glimpse of the flag, but mostly boxing symbols. I was touched by the setting of Ka Leody [de Guzman] – very simple plain white background,” he said during a special edition of In The Running

Vice President Leni Robredo’s background was noticeably less deliberate – the Vice President and her team borrowed an office close to the airport so that she could fly out to Odette-hit areas right after the forum. But the new venue proved to be tricky, with internet connection problems spoiling her participation in the forum. 

Survey frontrunner Ferdinand Marcos Jr. had no background to speak of because he didn’t attend the event, citing a “conflict of schedule.” Marcos Jr. had apparently chosen a sit-down interview with broadcaster Korina Sanchez-Roxas instead. 

The five candidates who did show up – tech notwithstanding – answered questions that focused primarily on the economy, accountability and transparency, peace and order, and more than a handful of lofty ideas. 

Here’s a guide to what you need to read (and watch) to keep updated:

In The Running: KBP forum edition

KBP Presidential Forum: Your essential reads

Rappler’s editor-at-large Marites Vitug, columnist and editorial consultant John Nery, regional coordinator Inday Espina-Varona, resident economist JC Punongbayan, senior reporter Lian Buan, multimedia reporter Sofia Tomacruz, and the five reporters covering the presidential hopefuls in the 2022 polls made sense of the forum, and discussed what was (and what weren’t) brought up.

Leody de Guzman

The labor leader came more than prepared for the forum the first time he was invited to a platform that featured all leading candidates simultaneously. Jairo Bolledo, Rappler’s multimedia reporter covering his and running-mate Walden Bello’s campaign, said De Guzman stayed true to his message of a campaign and platform that’s pro-labor and pro-people.

Read more from Bolledo’s story here.

Panfilo Lacson

The (former) soldier came prepared. The veteran politician and former top cop brandished his goal to clean up government and make systems work, wrote multimedia reporter Rambo Talabong, who covers the Lacson and Tito Sotto campaign for Rappler.

Read more from Talabong here.

Isko Moreno

If you thought Manila Mayor Isko Moreno’s background resembled Malacañang’s press briefing room, you aren’t alone. Rappler senior reporter Pia Ranada noted that Moreno came in polished to perfection during the forum – from his background to his finesse in answering the questions, always fully within the time limit.

Read more from Ranada here.

Manny Pacquiao

Before he was a senator and now, a presidential hopeful, Manny Pacquiao was a decorated boxer who came from nothing. It’s a narrative Pacquiao highlighted even as he presented his lofty “22 rounds agenda” at the KBP forum, noted multimedia reporter Aika Rey, who covers the Pacquiao-Lito Atienza campaign.

Read more from Rey’s recap here.

Leni Robredo

Transparency and accountability above all – even at the expense of her own allies. Robredo, even as she dealt with bad connectivity in the live forum, talked about her platform that’s “rooted in her appreciation for data and her solid experiences working for and with the poorest Filipinos in the country,” wrote Mara Cepeda, Rappler’s multimedia reporter covering the Vice President.

Read more from Cepeda’s report here.

As it happened

For a blow-by-blow account of the forum as it happened, check out this LIVE UPDATES page, which features insights, fact-checks, and analyses from Rappler’s team of reporters, researchers, and editors.

We want more!

Even as it aired for three hours, viewers noted limitations in the forum’s format, including the time limit each candidate had to deal with.

The KBP forum, of course, is only the first of many in the months before election day on May 9, 2022. The Commission on Elections has said it plans to hold three debates for presidential and vice-presidential candidates across the three major island groups, similar to what it did in 2016. Attendance in those debates, however, isn’t mandatory. – Rappler.com

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.