Robredo: Marcos has responsibility to squarely face issues against him
TAGAYTAY CITY, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo on Friday said that her move to engage former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to a debate was because he was the only presidential candidate who failed to attend the presidential debates sponsored by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
In an ambush interview in Calamba City, Laguna on Friday, Robredo said that it is Marcos’ responsibility to the people to squarely face the issues thrown against him.
Robredo’s debate challenge however was quickly turned down by Marcos’ spokesperson.
“Sa lahat na patawag ng Comelec, siya lang ‘yong hindi nagpaunlak. Responsibilidad niya sa tao na ihayag, hindi lang ‘yong kanyang mga plataporma pero para sagutin ‘yung mga issues laban sa kanya,” Robredo told reporters.
(It’s because for all the invites from Comelec, it’s only him who did not attend. It is his responsibility to the people not only to show his platform, but also address the issues hurled at him.)
According to the Vice President, it is hard for people to make an informed decision for the elections — which is just ten days away from Friday — if a candidate refuses to answer all the fake information surrounding him.
“Mahirap kung ayaw niyang harapin ito kasi napakarami ng disinformation saka fake news. At dapat tanungin siya nito harapan para malaman ng kanyang supporters kung ano ba talaga ‘yung totoo. Kasi napakarami ‘yong napapapaniwala ng mga kasinungalingan,” she explained.
(It’s hard if he would not address these issues because there has been a lot of disinformation and fake news. And this should be asked squarely against him so that supporters would know the truth. Because a lot of people are falling victim to the lies.)
“Dapat sana may pagkakataon ‘yung taong i-confront siya about this. Kaya ‘yong sa akin, respondibilidad namin sa tao. Kaming ibang kandidato pinrisinta namin ‘yung sarili namin. Sa kanya, hindi nagkaroon ng ganoon na pagkakataon, na ‘yong mga issues na kinakaharap niya ay hindi magkaroon ng opportunity ‘yong taumbayan para marinig kung ano talaga ‘yung totoo,” she added.
(There should be a chance for people to confront him about this. That’s why for me, it is our responsibility to the people. We candidates should present ourselves, but for him, he deprived the people of the opportunity to hear what the truth really is.)
After Robredo’s debate challenge, Marcos spokesperson Vic Rodriguez said that they are not interested in the activity, adding that they would not engage in negative campaigning like what the opposition camp supposedly does.
READ: Robredo challenges Bongbong Marcos to debate: ‘Anytime, anywhere’
Marcos has been picky about what debates and fora he would attend, skipping debates hosted by some media companies, except the one sponsored by the SMNI media network, which is owned by Pastor Apollo Quiboloy who had previously endorsed his candidacy. According to Marcos himself, there are times that the questions for debates are similar, which makes discussions stagnant.
Robredo and Marcos are the two leading presidential bets in the 2022 national elections: according to Pulse Asia’s survey conducted last March 17 to 21, Marcos got 56 percent of the votes while Robredo had 24 percent.
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