Duterte, Atienza absent in 1st PiliPinas Debates 2022 for VP bets

Published March 20, 2022, 9:24 PM

by Jel Santos

Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte and Buhay Party-list Rep. Jose “Lito” L. Atienza were the only vice-presidential candidates absent during the PiliPinas Debates 2022 held on Sunday, March 20.

(Photo courtesy of Office of Chair. Pangarungan)

Atienza, who underwent knee surgery in February, said he will not be attending the Comelec-organized debate as he is still recuperating.

Meanwhile, Duterte said she will not be attending the PiliPinas Debates 2022, saying she has “personal reasons.”

Her running mate, Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr., is the only presidential candidate who skipped last Saturday’s debate. All other presidential bets were present.

All the other vice-presidential candidates arrived early at Sofitel, the venue of PiliPinas Debates 2022.

They were lawyer Carlos “Kuya Charlie” G. Serapio, Dr. Willie T. Ong, Sen. Vicente “Tito” C. Sotto III, Emmanuel “Manny” SD. Lopez, Rizalito Y. David, Sen. Francis “Kiko” N. Pangilinan, and Walden F. Bello, in no particular order.

The Presidential and Vice Presidential Town Hall Debates will be held on April 23 and 24, respectively.

In February, Comelec Spokesperson James B. Jimenez said the Pilipinas Debates 2022 will give the public a glimpse of how their candidates perform while under pressure.

“The #PiliPinasDebates2022 is an opportunity for the voting public to see their candidates in action, performing under pressure, and showing leadership at crunch-time. #turningpoint,” he posted on Twitter.