SMNI cancels VP debate to make way for pres’l debate final round — exec
MANILA, Philippines — The vice presidential debate that media network SMNI was supposed to host on Feb. 22 has been cancelled, an official of the network confirmed Thursday.
SMNI president Dr. Marlon Rosete told INQUIRER.net that the vice presidential debate was cancelled to make way for another round of the presidential debate the media network held last Tuesday which was attended by candidates Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Leody de Guzman, Norberto Gonzales, and Ernesto Abella.
“Because of the clamor of the Filipino people to have a part 2 of SMNI Presidential Debate, we cancelled the VP debate scheduled on Feb 22 to give way for the final round of SMNI Presidential Debate on March 26 at Okada Manila,” Rosete said in a Viber message.
Vice presidential candidate Walden Bello, the running mate of De Guzman, on Thursday said it is “too bad” that the debate was cancelled as he was looking forward to facing his opponent Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
Duterte-Carpio is the running mate of Marcos Jr. Both are currently leading surveys on preferred presidential and vice presidential candidates.
“Too bad since I had been looking forward to engaging Sara Duterte in a policy debate,” Bello said in a Facebook post.
He, however, said the cancellation of the debate was “not surprising.”
SARA BACKS OUTSMNI, the Quibuloy station, just informed me they have cancelled the vice presidential debate scheduled…
Bello claims Duterte-Carpio “backed out” from the debate, to which the Davao City mayor said: “No comment.”
Rosete also denied Duterte-Carpio had backed out.
Four presidential candidates — Vice President Leni Robredo, Senators Panfilo Lacson and Manny Pacquiao, and Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno — did not join the SMNI presidential debate last Tuesday.
The SMNI media network is owned by Kingdom of Jesus Christ church leader Pastor Apollo Quiboloy.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.