: Bongbong’s spokesman: Walden Bello has right to express views even if ‘worthless’

28 February 2022

By Neil Arwin Mercado |

MANILA, Philippines — Vice presidential bet Walden Bello has the right to express his views even if they are “worthless,” said Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s spokesperson on Monday.

“Si Walden Bello, ang vice presidential bet na mahilig sa balitaktakan, ay may karapatang magpahayag ng kanyang mga personal na pananaw gaano man kawalang-kwenta ang mga ito,” Atty. Vic Rodriguez asserted in a statement, after Bello called the presidential candidate Marcos Jr. a “f*cking coward” during the debates organized by CNN Philippines.

(Walden Bello, a vice-presidential bet who likes to debate, has the right to express his personal views no matter how worthless they are.)

Marcos Jr. has been mostly skipping interviews and debates for presidential bets since the campaign period started on February 8 for national candidates in the May 9 elections. His attendance at the debate initiated by the Commission on Elections and set on March 19 remains uncertain even if the poll body has announced otherwise.

“Iginagalang namin ang kanyang kalayaan sa pamamahayag at hangad namin na sana ay matagpuan niya ang kapayapaan sa pag-iisip at kababaang-loob upang kilanlin ang pangangailangan ng bansa na pagkakaisa upang tugunan ang krisis na kinakaharap ngayon ng sambayanan,” he added.

(We respect his freedom to express and we hope that he can find some peace of mind and humility to know the need of the country for unity to respond to the crisis the public is facing today.)

In the CNN debate for vice presidential candidates, Bello first called out Marcos Jr.’s running mate Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio for not attending the event: “I’m really terribly sorry that Mayor Duterte is not here to face the people.”

Bello then took a jab at Marcos Jr.: “She is a coward just like Bongbong Marcos is a f*cking coward.”

Marcos Jr. has been criticized for declining some major presidential debates and forums attended by his fellow presidential candidates.

The first one that Marcos Jr. declined was the interview with veteran journalist Jessica Soho, who he accused of being “biased.” He was also a no show at the presidential forum organized by the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), citing conflict with schedule.

On Sunday, February 27, Marcos did not participate in the CNN debate for presidential bets.

But Marcos Jr. attended the debate organized by media network SMNI, whose owner, Kingdom of Jesus Christ leader and televangelist Pastor Apollo Quiboloy has endorsed him for president and his running mate Duterte-Carpio for vice president. Other presidential candidates, namely Senators Panfilo Lacson and Manny Pacquiao, Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, and Vice President Leni Robredo did not attend the SMNI debate.