No more debates for Sara Duterte; Marcos Jr. still mum

Anjo Bagaoisan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 12 2022 08:24 PM | Updated as of Mar 12 2022 09:38 PM

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(UPDATED) Davao City mayor and vice presidential bet Sara Duterte-Carpio reiterated her decision not to attend any election debate in the run-up to the May 2022 national polls.

The Lakas-CMD candidate told reporters in Parañaque Saturday their campaign would not include joining face-offs with other candidates.

This, a week before the first presidential and vice-presidential debates sponsored by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

"We already released a statement about the debates. I already decided that I will do this campaign without joining debates. Iniiwan ko na po ‘yan sa ating mga kababayan, ang pagdedesisyon sa pagpili nila sa vice president na ganito po ‘yung aking direksyon sa kampanya,” she said.

Duterte-Carpio is the current survey frontrunner and had skipped a debate held by CNN Philippines in late February.

Running-mate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., meanwhile, did not respond to reporters’ questions about his attendance to the debates when he arrived at the Olivarez Gym in the afternoon.

He has only showed up in one presidential debate, organized by the SMNI of Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, who has endorsed the Marcos-Duterte tandem.

Marcos Jr.’s chief of staff Vic Rodriguez earlier said their camp would announce this week if their schedule would allow them to join the Comelec’s first presidential debate on March 19.

The UniTeam tandem separately began their sorties in Parañaque City before meeting at a program for barangay officials and workers at the gym.

Duterte-Carpio held a meet-and-greet with supporters at a school gym in the BF Homes subdivision together with congressional candidate Gus Tambunting.

Duterte-Carpio also told media that her advocacy is to continue her father President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war. 

“Ipa-strengthen ‘yung law enforcement ng ating bansa. Hindi lang po sa kontra droga, kontra terrorism, kontra criminality, lahat po ‘yun anti-insurgency. Lahat po ‘yun dahil ang gusto ng lahat ay mapayapang pamumuhay hindi lang po dito sa ating bansa but sa buong mundo and ‘yan po ang commitment ng UniTeam.”

Meanwhile, Marcos Jr. met with supporters from the Parañaque Alliance for BBM-Sara made of members of the PFP and Kilusang Bagong Lipunan parties. They were led by former mayor Jun Bernabe and mayoral candidate Jun Zaide.