Otso Diretso sets date, place of debate with Hugpong
MANILA, Philippines — Otso Diretso senatorial candidates on Thursday set the date and place for their proposed debate with rivals from the administration and Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) party.
This came after HNP founder Davao Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said their candidates are ready to take on the challenge of the opposition to engage in a debate on national issues.
Hugpong candidates Sen. Sonny Angara, Francis Tolentino, and Jiggy Manicad had also reportedly expressed willingness to join the debate.
Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno scheduled the debate at Plaza Miranda at noon on February. 25
Former Solicitor General and lawyer Pilo Hilbay thanked Duterte-Carpio’s assurance.
“Ang paghaharap ng oposisyon at administrasyon sa isang makabuluhang diskurso ay mahalagang obligasyon sa bayan, upang matiyak ng mga botante na tama ang ihahalal nilang mga kandidato ngayong eleksyon (The face-off between opposition and administration candidates is a meaningful discourse and it is our obligation to help voters make the right decision this coming election),” Hilbay added.
“Kung hindi sila natatakot sa amin, hindi nila kami uurungan (If they are not afraid of us they will not say no),” he added.
Meanwhile, Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano specifically challenged Bong Go to a debate on issues hounding China and the country.
“Game na akong maka-debate para pag-usapan ang China issue (I am ready to discuss the China issue),” the former marine officer said.
Marawi civic leader Samira Gutoc, for her part, underscored the importance of the public’s knowledge on a candidate’s capabilities and principles.
“Bigyan po natin ng pagkakataon na masuri ng lubusan ng taumbayan ang mga humihingi ng boto nila. Mahalaga po ngayon na bumoto ang ating mga kababayan hindi lang dahil artista o kayang gumastos ng isang kandidato, kundi ayon sa kakayahan at prinsipyo nito,” Gutoc said.
(Let us our citizens the opportunity to thoroughly examine the candidates asking for their vote. It is important now for our countrymen to vote not only for actors or those who can spend the most on the campaign but following their principle.)
Former congressman Erin Tañada, meanwhile, clarified that the debate would not be about pitting themselves against competitors. It should be treated as an avenue to clarify issues.
“Hindi ito pakikipag-away o pagbato ng mga mali sa isa’t isa. Tungkulin naming mga tumatakbo sa Senado na liwanagin ang kaya naming gawin para masolusyunan ang mga problema ng bayan,” Tañada said.
(This is not a fight or an act of finding fault. It is our duty as senatorial candidates to explain to the people what we can do to solve the country’s problems.)
“Kung walang itinatago ang mga kandidato, hindi sila matatakot humarap sa taumbayan at sagutin ang mga isyung hinaharap nila. Karapatan ng taumbayang alamin ang mga sagot sa kanilang mga tanong,” he added.
(If a candidate has nothing to hide, they are not going to be afraid to face the people and clarify their stand on issues. It is the people’s right to get answers to their questions.)
HNP has yet to respond to the suggested date and venue of the debate. /ee
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