Pimentel: PDP-Laban OK to debate with opposition, but …
MANILA, Philippines – Even though “unnecessary,” a debate between the senatorial candidates of the ruling party Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) and those of the opposition was welcome, reelectionist Senator Aquilino Pimentel III said Monday.
However, Pimentel said it would pose a “scheduling problem” due to the busy campaign schedule of the administration slate.
“It (debate) is unnecessary but we are willing,” Pimentel, president of the PDP-Laban, said in an interview over the ABS CBN News Channel.
“This is actually a scheduling problem. We have our own PDP-Laban rallies and we are also adopted by the HNP (Hugpong ng Pagbabago) of Mayor Sara Duterte,” he added.
He explained that PDP-Laban had planned some 20 campaign rallies, while the HNP scheduled 110.
Nevertheless, Pimentel said he would assign a party member to coordinate with Otso Diretso to “explore the possibility of a debate.”
He pointed out that the PDP-Laban would not pay for media coverage.
Otso Diretso candidates earlier challenged pro-administration bets to a public debate. They have even asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to facilitate it.
However, the poll body rejected the opposition’s request due to time constraints.
The five-man senatorial slate of the PDP-Laban include Pimentel, Dong Mangudadatu, former chief of police Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, former presidential aide Bong Go, and former presidential adviser Francis Tolentino. /cbb
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