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Bongbong, Sara to skip CNN Philippines presidential, VP debates

Presidential candidate and former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. will skip yet another forum organized by the media set later this month.

Marcos will not be able to join the presidential debates scheduled on February 27 due to conflict in schedule, CNN Philippines, which is hosting the event, said on Monday.

Marcos' spokesperson Atty. Vic Rodriguez confirmed that the son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. will not be attending the debates.

"Yes we have declined the invitation of CNN Philippines," Rodriguez said in a text message.

It is the latest media-organized election event that Marcos has declined to attend, after a presidential interview with veteran journalist Jessica Soho and a presidential forum organized by the Kapisanan ng Brodkaster ng Pilipinas.

Marcos, who topped a Pulse Asia pre-election survey conducted from January 19 to 24, 2022, is not keen on attending debates where presidential candidates are pitted against each other, Rodriguez earlier said.

Rodriguez, in his text message, noted that Marcos has attended and will attend several forums.

"We have submitted to the presidential forum hosted by dzRH and dzBB (GMA-7) and attend the presidential debate to be hosted by SMNI live tomorrow," he said.

Meanwhile, CNN Philippines also said Marcos' running mate, Davao City mayor Sara Duterte, will also not attend CNN Philippines' vice presidential debates set for February 26. Her camp reportedly did not provide any reason.

GMA News Online has sought Sara Duterte's camp for comment but they have yet to respond as of posting time.  --KBK, GMA News