College debate group slams BBM and Sara for no-shows

BONGBONG IN BULACAN Partido Federal ng Pilipinas standard-bearer Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. and Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats vice-presidential candidate Sara Duterte-Carpio led a large rally at the covered courtyard of the annex of the Meycauayan College in Barangay Malhacan, Meycauayan Ville, Bulacan on Tuesday, March 8, 2022. Also present at the exit are Bulacan First District Representative Jonathan Sy-Alvarado, Senate Candidate Dante Marcoleta, Fourth District Representative Henry Villarica and vice-mayor of the city of Meycauayan Joji Violago. The BBM-Sara UniTeam also campaigned in Guiguinto and Sta. Maria in Bulacan. PHOTO BY FREDERIC SILVERIO

A group of university and college debating organizations expressed dismay and concern at the non-attendance of Presidential and Vice Presidential Leaders Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte-Carpio in the 2022 PiliPinas Debates hosted by the Commission on Elections.

In a statement on Saturday, the Philippine Debate Union said Marcos and Duterte-Carpio’s consistent denial is a “deprivation of the Filipino people’s right to know the presidential aspirant’s vision for the country.”

The Union claimed that the debate hosted by Comelec is one of multiple television programs rejected by Marcos, except for presidential debates hosted by CNN Philippines and presidential interviews with Jessica Soho.

Marcos, however, has participated in the presidential debate hosted by Sonshine Media Network International and the Manila Times, as well as interviews on dzRH and dzBB radio stations, Go Negosyo Kandidatalks, and numerous social media influencers.

Similarly, Union said it was “alarmed” by Duterte’s similar behavior in choosing to be represented by an empty podium in CNN’s vice presidential debates and declaring his non-participation in such programs during the campaign period.

He said Marcos and Duterte’s deliberate choice not to show up for debates and interviews was “disconcerting” because it deprives individuals of the opportunity to learn about their candidates and the future they intend to create for their constituents. .

“We believe that the Presidential and Vice Presidential Debates are essential to upholding the democratic right of citizens to make informed voting decisions in the upcoming national elections, as these decisions have direct effects on the future of the Filipino people,” the union said.

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