MANILA - A debate between presidential candidates Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and Vice President Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo will never happen, Marcos' camp said on Friday.
"Sa debate na hamon kay presidential frontrunner Bongbong Marcos ay hindi ito kailanman mangyayari sa ilang kadahilanan," Marcos spokesman Vic Rodriguez said in a statement. "At batid ni Ginang Robredo ang mga kadahilanang ‘yan."
(On the debate dare on frontrunner Bongbong Marcos, this will never happen due to many reasons, and Mrs. Robredo knows these reasons.)
Rodriguez said that both candidates had different views on about political debates.
"Positibong pangangampanya at walang paninira ang gabay ng UniTeam ni Bongbong Marcos. At derecho sa taumbayan ang mga mensahe nito at ang panawagan ng pagkakisa," the spokesman said. "Pawan mga negatibo, panlilinlang at paninira naman ang sa kampo ng dilawan."
(We only do positive campaigning. We give our message of unity straight to the public unlike the negative campaigning of the yellow camp.)
Rodriguez said that amid the economic crisis brought by the pandemic, it was necessary for the public to see calm leaders.
The statement came after Robredo challenged Marcos to a debate ahead of the May 9 election, saying the event would shed light on the many issues surrounding the son of the late dictator, Ferdinand E. Marcos.
"We owe it to the people and to our country. Kung papayag po kayo, anytime, anywhere, darating ako," Robredo said.
Marcos has skipped all of the presidential debates organized by the Commission on Elections, as well as other debates organized by independent media. The former senator has previously said he would rather spend his time campaigning to the people than engage in debates.
From the archives: 2016 Vice presidential debates