Leading big in the VP race, Sara Duterte sees no need to attend debates – #BotongPinoy2022
Just like her running-mate former Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio of Davao City is also not very keen on attending debates that will pit her on the same stage with her rivals in the Vice Presidential race.
Duterte-Carpio skipped the VP debate organized by CNN Philippines last February 26, and her camp has already announced that she will also not participate in the one set by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) for March 19. Speaking to members of the media, her spokesperson Mayor Christina Frasco of Liloan, Cebu did not give a reason why Duterte-Carpio is also averse to attending debates.
The Filipino Scribe noted previously that Marcos’ strategy of keeping his participation in debates at a minimum is intended to reduce the possibility of him being damaged politically by tough questioning from moderators and his fellow candidates. Duterte-Carpio is obviously following the same approach.
While Duterte-Carpio is leading in the VP race, her lead over her nearest competitor Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III is not as big compared to the lead of Marcos over Vice President Leni Robredo in the presidential race.
By showing up during debates, Duterte-Carpio is opening herself up to the possibility of her being attacked by her chief rivals Sotto, Senator Francis Pangilinan, and former Congressman Walden Bello. She will almost-certainly be put on the defensive because outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte is her father.
However, even if avoiding debates is good politically for both Marcos and Duterte, it is still a big disservice to Filipino voters who are being deprived of the chance to have an unfiltered view of all presidential and vice presidential candidates side-by-side with another.