Senator Nancy Binay on Tuesday appealed to presidential candidates to cease from bickering and elevate the level of their campaign for the 2016 national and local elections.
"Let’s love, love, love na lang," said Binay, echoing a famous line by TV personality Kris Aquino, sister of President Benigno Aquino III."This is not the time to bash each other."
"Let us all reflect during this season na pagdating ng January, pagdating ng kampanya, hindi ganito ang magiging uri ng kampanya, 'yung siraan. Let us elevate 'yung pag-campaign," she told reporters in an interview.
Binay, daughter of Vice President Jejomar Binay, a contender in the 2016 presidential race, made the appeal in connection with the simmering "word war" between administration standard bearer Mar Roxas and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
Roxas had earlier dismissed Duterte's claims on peace and order in Davao City as a "myth," prompting the local official to fire back and question Roxas' degree from Wharton School of Economics.
The argument led to the two threatening to slap each other.
Like high school students
Meanwhile, in a separate interview, Senator Sergio Osmeña III urged Roxas and Duterte to stop acting like high school students and instead "raise the level of debate."
"We expect something more out of those two leaders who want to be president and maybe they can tone down their language and be more statesman-like in their debate," he said.
Osmeña, an open supporter of Duterte, said the mayor should be more careful with his actuations and statements as these may discourage his supporters.
"If he is not careful, a lot of his supporters might feel off, baka madismaya sila. We are hoping that they can raise the level of debate," he said, adding that Duterte should treat national politics differently.
"When you go national, anything you say will be picked up by the media and will be broadcast worldwide and it would bring shame to our political system if they found out abroad na ganun pala sila sa Pilipinas," Osmeña said.
He added that he did not expect Roxas to believe Duterte's threats, and expressed suspicion that the bickering and threats of slapping are part of the administration bet's strategy to improve his ratings.
"But this is something that was out of line already for both of them and being older than both of them, I’m asking them to set the example to high level presidential debates," Osmeña said. —KBK, GMA News