Otso Diretso to Sara Duterte: Set venue, format of debate with HNP bets
MANILA, Philippines — Opposition senatorial candidates under the Otso Diretso banner on Wednesday said they are ready to debate with Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) candidates.
Election lawyer Romy Macalintal urged HNP founder Sara Duterte-Carpio to send a representative so both camps could finalize the venue, date, and format of the debate, after the Davao City mayor said they snubbed the February 25 debate because they want clear rules and formal arrangement for the debate.
“Kayo na’ng gumawa ng rules, ng panuntunan, mamili kayo ng lugar, ng oras, ng araw… Para din maayos ito, ‘yung kinatawan ni Sara Duterte ay makipagkita rin sa aming kinatawan,” Macalintal said in a press briefing in Intramuros after their campaign in Tondo’s Baseco compound.
Former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay added that he will accept any format of debate. “Kung ayaw nya (Duterte-Caprio) nung palengke-style na (debate) eh kahit sila na ‘yung mag-set ng rules at willing kaming umattend. ‘Yung debate naman hindi para sa amin kundi para sa mga mamamayan,” he said.
Macalintal also underscored that they are challenging the administration-backed candidates to shed light on social issues.
Marawi civic leader Samira Gutoc meanwhile urged the state-run TV channel PTV 4 to also give air time to opposition senatorial candidates.
“I remind the Comelec to urge the candidates to (join debates) especially women. I also urge the PTV 4, when you give air time to endorse the administration candidates, you should also give air time to opposition candidates,” Gutoc said.
“When the administration uses the government resources as political leverage I feel very bad because ang dami pang kwentong dapat ikwento,” she added.
Aside from engaging in any debate, Gutoc said they are also willing to disclose to the public their statements of assets, liabilities and networth.
“Sana rin po ‘yung ating mga candidates na nasa kabila ay hindi lang song and dance, sana po ay substansya… Diskusyon hindi teatro,” Gutoc said. /muf
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