ORGANIZERS of a presidential forum in Zamboanga City were dismayed over the non appearance of most of the candidates Wednesday.

The presidential candidates' forum, the first ever held in this city, was organized by the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) and Ateneo de Zamboanga University (ADZU) and UZ.

Click here for Election 2010 updates

Of the nine, only two candidates for president have attended the scheduled presidential candidates' forum at the Summit Center of the Universidad de Zamboanga (UZ) in this city.

The only two candidates who showed up at the forum were independent candidate Nicanor “Nick” Perlas and Ang Kapatiran Party president bet John Carlos “JC” Delos Reyes.

Fr. Antonio Moreno, president of ADZU, said he was disappointed that despite the early invitation among the candidates only two showed up.

Moreno disclosed that the candidates have confirmed their attendance to the forum when they sent them the invitations two months ago.

However, he disclosed most of them backed out during the last minute claiming they have prior commitments.

The organizers, however, pushed through with the forum despite only two of the nine candidates for president showed up.

Delos Reyes said the invitation of the PPCRV to attend a forum should be honored being the citizens' election watchdog.

Delos Reyes said some of the other candidates seems to be over confident the reason why they declined the invitation for a forum in this city.

Perlas said the holding of a candidates’ forum is important citing it is the right venue for the voters to know their candidates.

Perlas told the hundreds of audience in the forum to vote wisely citing the power to choose a leader is in their hands.

He said the forum also levels the campaign playing field for all of the candidates as it is where they could ventilate well their respective platforms of government.

Perlas said he is banking his candidacy on the support of millions of “volunteers on the ground.”

They discussed issues on economic sustainability, peace and conflict transformation, environmental issues, good governance, and social services.