: Marcos camp to finalize this week if he will attend March 19 Comelec debate

8 March 2022


MANILA, Philippines — The camp of presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. will finalize this week whether he will attend the debates sponsored by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on March 19.

Marcos’ spokesman Atty. Vic Rodriguez said their schedule is “very tight,” adding that the presidential candidate has a full schedule on the day of the Comelec debate, which has been scheduled already for more than two months.

“Maybe this week we will finalize because of our schedule, our schedule is very tight and it’s getting tighter by the day as we go into the middle of March,” he said in an interview in Bulacan.

“We have a full schedule on that day that has been in place for more than two months na. Ang scheduling namin mahaba, talagang mahaba ang schedule namin,” Rodriguez added.

(Our scheduling is very long. We have a very long schedule.)

Marcos Jr. has been skipping presidential interviews, forums, and debates organized by the media, such as the interview with GMA veteran journalist Jessica Soho, the forum with Kapisanan ng Brodkaster ng Pilipinas, and the debate organized by CNN Philippines.

He, however, attended the debate sponsored by SMNI, the media network run by Pastor Apollo Quiboloy who has endorsed Marcos’ presidential bid.

Marcos Jr. earlier said he is unsure if he will attend the debate as he is still studying the format.

The camp of Marcos Jr. earlier wrote Comelec and other presidential candidates, requesting to tackle the format of the debate prior to March 19.

Comelec earlier said candidates who will skip the debates cannot air their electronic rally (e-rally) on the poll body’s platform as a consequence.

Rodriguez said the Marcos camp is taking this Comelec statement in stride, saying they want to know the basis of such pronouncement.

“Is it an en banc resolution or he’s (Comelec director James Jimenez) just expressing his own opinion or preference for those who are not attending the Comelec-sponsored debate,” he said.

The Comelec earlier said it would inform the candidates of the general topics that would be tackled in the debates.

Rodriguez said they have not met with the Comelec to discuss the debate.