Branding them as "jokers," vice presidential candidate Walden Bello called on the Commission on Elections to penalize presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and his running mate, Sara Duterte, for not showing up at the debates organized by the poll body.
At the Comelec PiliPinas Debates 2022: The Turning Point for vice presidential aspirants, the candidates were asked to comment about their expertise that they can share with the president once elected in Eleksyon 2022.
Bello refused to answer, and instead, said he was pissed over the absence of the Davao City mayor in the debates. Marcos also skipped the presidential debate on Saturday.
"Sara Duterte is not with us, we're slashing one another for her benefit. I mean the Commission on Elections should do something about this. Commissioner, chair, maaari ba, [please] can you penalize these two people? Marcos and Sara Duterte for not showing themselves up the Filipino people with the programs so that masuri ho ng Filipino people 'yung kanilang record and programs nila [so the Filipino people can scrutinize their record and programs]," Bello said.
He stressed that tougher penalties are needed to enforce against the tandem and not just losing slots in the e-rally platforms. The poll body had said that those who will not participate in the debates will lose their slots in the e-rally platforms until the end of the campaign period.
"'Yung ginagawa niyong penalty 'yung 'di sasama sa e-rally my God, ang hina ho noon... [The penalty that you will impose, that they won't be included in the e-rally, my God, it's so weak]. We need stronger penalties for these people. Kasi ho, this is so undemocratic that they are not here. I'm tempted to walk out right now kasi precisely we're making fools of ourselves without these persons who are just clapping up there," Bello said.
"Mr. Chair, can you answer this? We need your answers. You're the Commission on Elections, you can penalize these two jokers, Marcos and Duterte, for not showing up. They're spitting in the face of the Filipino people," he added.
Bello said the Comelec should ask the Marcos-Duterte tandem to show up.
"I'm really so pissed off that these two jokers are not here, duwag sila [they are cowards]. And yet, they're going to... we can't show their records, they have to show up so the Filipino can judge otherwise this is a f --ing big joke," he said.
Amid the debates, the BBM-Sara UniTeam chose to campaign in Marikina City on Saturday and in Malabon on Sunday. — RSJ, GMA News