Poll bets not required to attend debates

January 22, 2022 People's Tonight 65 views

ELECTION candidates, including those running for national positions, are not mandated to participate in debates.

In a previous post, Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesperson James Jimenez said they cannot oblige aspirants to attend public debates but historically, candidates attend Comelec-sponsored debates.

The poll body is set to hold three presidential and vice-presidential debates in February, March, and April.

The spokesperson of presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., meanwhile, defended the decision of the former senator to decline the invitation to appear in a television talk show.

“Presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos’ duty is to the Filipino people and not to a particular TV show or program host,” lawyer Victor Rodriguez said in a statement on Saturday. “We will continue with our way of communicating direct to the people in so many equally significant shows, platforms and forums where all the attendees are allowed to present their visions, plans and platforms freely, unfiltered and unhindered by any biases.”

Rodriguez said the show host has always been biased against the Marcoses and they believe “her questions will just focus on negativity about BBM”, instead of focusing on “how the aspiring presidents will solve our country’s lingering problems caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and what their plans are for our country to roll up from economic stagnation.”

The campaign period for national candidates will start on February 8, or 90 days before the May 9 polls, while local candidates will start campaigning 45 days before the elections or on March 25. Philippine News Agency