Sara Duterte on Otso Diretso’s request to set debate rules: I’m not your secretary
MANILA, Philippines — Davao City Mayor and Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) founding chair Sara Duterte-Carpio has asked Otso Diretso to find a third party organizer for their debate, amid requests of the opposition party to discuss the debate rules.
Duterte-Carpio was reacting to the call of Otso Diretso bet Romulo Macalintal for her to send a representative so that both camps could finalize the details of the debate.
“Sila naman ‘yong nagtawag ng debate ‘di ba? I am a mayor of Davao City, I am the chairman of HNP, hindi po ako secretary ng Otso Diretso (I am not the secretary of Otso Diretso),” she told reporters after a campaign sortie in San Andres, Manila on Wednesday.
Duterte-Carpio said that if Otso Diretso wants a debate, they should get a third party organizer to set the debate rules.
Earlier, Macalintal and fellow Otso Diretso stalwart Florin Hilbay urged Duterte-Carpio to set the rules, as well as the venue and time of the debate. He said they can adapt to any style and form.
“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 (You set the debate rules, date, place, and time. Sara Duterte’s representative should meet with our representatives,” Macalintal said in a press briefing in Intramuros after their campaign in Tondo’s Baseco compound.
Duterte-Carpio slammed the decision of Otso Diretso to stage a debate with no clear rules and details.
“Paano ako magde-decide wala kang organizer, wala kang rules, hindi ko nga alam kung ano ang pagdedebatihan natin (How can I decide if you have no organizer and no rules? I don’t even know what we are going to talk about)?” she said.
Over the weekend, Otso Diretso candidates challenged their counterparts from HNP to a debate at Plaza Miranda on Monday (Feb. 25) noon. The HNP bets were not able to attend the debate as they had a scheduled activity in Meycauayan, Bulacan, and Valenzuela City.
The Davao local executive, however, clarified that it is the candidates’ discretion if they will join the debates, as HNP only endorsed the senatorial bets who have political parties.
“Kung ikaw candidate ka, dapat ikaw ang mag-decide kung gusto mong makipag-debate or hindi (If you are a candidate, you must decide whether you want to join debates),” Duterte-Carpio said. /ee
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