Marcos Jr. won't attend Comelec presidential debate, spokesman says

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 14 2022 07:16 PM

Presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos Jr. visits Meycauayan, Bulacan as part of the campaign trail on March 8, 2022. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News
Presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos Jr. visits Meycauayan, Bulacan as part of the campaign trail on March 8, 2022. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The camp of presidential aspirant Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Monday confirmed that he will not participate in the coming debate organized by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

This makes him the only presidential candidate who will be absent from the debate.

Marcos Jr.'s spokesperson, Atty. Vic Rodriguez, said the son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. will meet supporters on the field instead on the day of the debate.

"I confirm our non-participation in the Comelec sanctioned debate this coming Saturday, March 19, 2022. Presidential frontrunner Bongbong Marcos’ words are his bond, thus we shall honor our commitment to our supporters to be with them on the field on this day," Rodriguez said.

"We shall continue with our preferred mode of direct communication with the people and engage them in a more personal face to face interaction that discusses real issues that affect them today, tomorrow and in the days to come as this election is all about our collective future," he added.

Marcos Jr.'s running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, has also said she would not be participating in any election debate.

Marcos Jr. has been criticized for skipping some forums organized for candidates since the official campaign period opened last Feb. 8. He showed up though in select interviews and in at least one debate.

The first Comelec presidential debate on March 19 will be followed by another one on April 3, and then a town hall setup on April 24. 

As for the vice presidential candidates, the Comelec has set the following debate schedules: March 20 and April 23 (town hall).

Comelec officials earlier said candidates of the May 9 elections who skip their presidential and vice presidential debates will be disallowed from using the poll body's official e-rally channels for the rest of the campaign period. 

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