Robredo willing to join face-to-face debates with Pacquiao, other presidential bets

Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday, October 27, accepted Senator Emmanuel 'Manny' Pacquiao’s challenge for a face-to-face debate along with other presidential candidates in the 2022 polls.

In a media briefing in Bicol, Robredo said she agreed with Pacquiao who pushed for in-person debate, not virtual, with their fellow presidential aspirants.

Vice President Leni Robredo and Senator Manny Pacquiao (OVP/Malacañang)

“Tingin ko dapat talaga face-to-face para ‘yung mga issues talagang natutuldukan habang magkakasama kayo sa isang event, kasi mahirap din kung ang debate social media (I think the debate should be done face-to-face so the issues will be put to rest while you’re together in the event because it’s also hard to debate on social media),” she said.

The Vice President explained the debates are ineffective if the candidates will simply argue about their respective opinions without tackling the pressing matters in the country.

Robredo wants to focus on what is more important, which is clarifying their stand on certain issues before the Filipino people.

“Mahirap kung ‘yung debate nagsasagutan lang, kasi hindi nabibigyan ng linaw ‘yung lahat ng issues (It will be difficult if the debate is just about arguing among yourselves because all issues are not given clarity),” she said.

“So tayo nilo-look forward natin ‘yung face-to-face na debate (So we are looking forward to a face-to-face debate),” the presidential aspirant added.

On Tuesday, Oct. 26, Pacquiao dared other presidential contenders to face him in an actual debate, telling his rivals how ready he is to slug it out in next year’s presidential race.

READ: Pacquiao wants face-to-face, not online presidential debates

“I have nothing to hide. I’m sincere and I don’t need to prepare for questions that will question my integrity. I have nothing to hide,” he said in Filipino.

According to the boxer-senator, among the agenda that he will highlight during the presidential debates include employment, healthcare, anti-corruption drive, economic growth and development, livelihood, and housing.