Election fact checks

FALSE: Participants in CNN PH presidential, VP debates given questions in advance

Renzo Arceta
FALSE: Participants in CNN PH presidential, VP debates given questions in advance
CNN Philippines' anchor and news producer stresses that questions were not given in advance
At a glance
  • Claim: The CNN Presidential and Vice Presidential Debates participants were given the questions in advance.
  • Rating: FALSE
  • The facts: CNN Philippines’ anchor and news producer stressed that questions were not given in advance. Vice presidential aspirant Willie Ong and presidential aspirant Leni Robredo shared notes on social media they took during the debates as proof of the spontaneity of discussion and surprise questions.
  • Why we fact-checked this: A Facebook post with this claim has over 2,200 shares and 15,000 reactions, as of writing.
Complete details

A Facebook post with the caption: “Ang CNN debate ay hindi naman totoong spontaneous discussion or exchange of opposing arguments dahil binigyan ng advance questions ang mga participants.

(It is not true that the CNN debates feature spontaneous discussion or exchange of opposing arguments, as the participants were given the questions in advance.)

This claim is false.

CNN Philippines anchor Mai Rodriguez stressed in a tweet that “no questions were given in advance to any candidate.”

News producer for CNN Philippines, JM Nualla, mentioned in a separate tweet that the candidates were not given the questions in advance, adding that, even in the studio, only one producer had access to the questions and that these questions were not uploaded onto their computer software up until the program started.

In addition, separate social media posts by presidential candidate Vice President Leni Robredo and vice presidential candidate Willie Ong showed the extensive notes they took live during the event. 

Ong said in his post that, although he prepared for the debate, all questions from CNN Philippines were “surprise questions,” which he needed to note real time to best craft his answers. Robredo noted in her caption that she did her best to anticipate possible questions and made notes for them, but some were not asked. She also said she did not even have time to write notes on the questions where she was made to answer first. – Renzo Arceta/Rappler.com

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