Those who shun debates are not ready to lead, says Pacquiao

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 06 2022 02:47 PM

PROMDI presidential candidate Manny Pacquiao. File photo
PROMDI presidential candidate Manny Pacquiao. File photo

PROMDI presidential aspirant Sen. Manny Pacquiao urged the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to reconsider its position in giving advance topics to candidates in the upcoming face-to-face debates. 

Pacquiao said these debates are meant to provide the people an informed choice about their candidates, the quality of their leadership, and their style of governance. 

Pacquiao said candidates who shun public debates and refuse to be subjected to full public scrutiny are not ready to lead the country. 

“Tumatakbo kang Presidente, tapos hihingin mo yung mga tanong? Kailangan ready ka sa mga tanong kasi tumatakbo kang Pangulo ng Pilipinas. Dapat 'di ka mapili sa tanong," Pacquiao said in a media briefing in his sorties in Pangasinan. 

"Kasi pag tumatakbo kang Pangulo ng Pilipinas, as much as possible, lahat ng tanong pwede itatanong sayo dahil ikaw ay nag a-apply na maging leader ng bansa.” 

“Tumatakbo kang Presidente, dapat handa kang harapin yung mga tanong na maaring ibabato sa'yo. Handa kang sagutin, hindi 'yung aalamin mo yung mga questions. Mahirap 'yan.“

He said it is best for the Comelec not to provide advance questions so the electorate can truly get a sense of the “purity” of their intention in seeking the presidency.

"Mas maganda on-the-spot ang tanong para mabigla. Makikita mo yung purity kung anong nilalaman ng kanilang puso, kung tunay ba o hindi, 'di ba?" he said.

Pacquiao said the people should not trust candidates who refuse to participate in simple debates because they will take no responsibility for their actions. 

“At the end of the day, kung failure ang administration niya, tapos maghanap ka ng accomplishments, sabihin niya, 'Bakit? Nangako ba ako sa inyo?' 'Pag sa debate nangako ka ng pagbabago at 'di mo natupad, pwede mo balikan, pwede mong isumbat,” he said.

The Comelec set its first presidential debate on March 19.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said participants would be given the “general topics” to be covered but not the specific questions.

Candidates would also be prohibited from bringing "kodigos" or notes in the podium, but would be provided a notepad and a pen.

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