Presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos. Jr. is unlikely to consider taking part in a panel interview organized by the Commission on Elections in place of the final presidential debate, according to a report on "24 Oras" on Monday.
The final presidential debate, a town hall sponsored by the Comelec and scheduled for April 24, was moved to May 1 before eventually being cancelled, to be replaced with interviews of the candidates in the week leading up to election day, from May 2 to May 6.
Marcos, who has declined almost every debate during the campaign period, citing scheduling issues, is unlikely to take part because it is too late in the campaign to think about doing an interview, his spokesperson Vic Rodriguez said according to the report.
Rodriguez said weeks ago that panel interviews with the candidates was the format that their camp had wanted.
“One that can measure the depth of a candidate who is presenting himself to be next president for our country, distanced from the usual political noise, personal bickering and worse, gutter politics,” Rodriguez said.
To recall, Marcos Jr. skipped the presidential interview with GMA Network’s Jessica Soho as well as the forum organized by the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas.
He also declined to join the presidential debate sponsored by the CNN Philippines and the first PiliPinas debate organized by the Comelec.
Marcos, however, joined the debate conducted by controversial pastor Apollo Quiboloy's SMNI network.
The Comelec town halls were supposed to be held on April 23 for the vice presidential candidates and April 24 for the presidential bets.
They were moved to April 30 and May 1 amid reports of a "misunderstanding" between Impact Hub Manila, the Comelec's debate contractor, with Sofitel Garden Plaza, the debates' official venue.
Comelec Commissioner George Garcia said it was unfortunate that the "supposed misunderstanding" between the two companies affected the poll body and its activities. — Mel Matthew Doctor/BM, GMA News