Sanction for debate skippers? Let’s wait for next Congress’ decision, says Sara
VALENCIA CITY, Bukidnon — “We wait for the next Congress to decide,” vice presidential candidate Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio had this to say Thursday amid the call of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for lawmakers to pass a new law mandating presidential debates and penalizing those who will refuse to attend the event.
It was Comelec commissioner George Garcia who appealed to lawmakers to pass such legislation.
“Well, we wait for the next Congress po kung ano ‘yung action and desisyon nila on this matter (We wait for the next Congress on what will be their decision on this matter),” Duterte-Carpio said in an ambush interview in Antipolo.
Duterte-Carpio skipped the vice presidential debates organized by Comelec. The vice presidential candidate earlier said she has already decided to proceed with her campaign without joining debates.
Her running mate, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., has also been criticized for declining some presidential debates and forums attended by his fellow presidential candidates.
The first one Marcos Jr. declined is the interview with veteran journalist Jessica Soho, who he called “biased.” Marcos also skipped the presidential forum organized by the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), citing conflict with schedule.
Marcos Jr. likewise skipped the debates organized by media network CNN Philippines as well as the one organized by Comelec.
Marcos Jr., however, attended the debates organized by media network SMNI. Other presidential candidates—Senator Panfilo Lacson, Manila City mayor Isko Moreno, Senator Manny Pacquiao, and Vice President Leni Robredo—did not attend the SMNI debates.