Aspiring president Vice President Leni Robredo will skip the Comelec-KBP Pilipinas Forum 2022 but she challenged fellow presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to a debate.
If Marcos shows up, Robredo said, she will be there “anytime, anywhere.”
The vice president did not specify whether she was asking her rival to attend the Comelec forum or she was challenging him into a one-on-one debate.
“Sa puntong ito, isang kandidato na lang ang hindi pa humaharap sa taumbayan sa isang debate kasama ang lahat ng ibang kandidato. Mahalaga sana ito para masuri kami ng publiko, at para marinig nila at mapagkumpara ang vision at pagkatao namin (At this point, only one candidate has yet to face the people in a debate along with all other candidates. This is important so that the public can assess us, at for them to hear and compare our visions and personalities),” Robredo said in a statement on Friday, April 29.
The lone female presidential candidate then took the chance to challenge Marcos, who has been snubbing all presidential debates heading into the May 9 elections.
“Inaanyayahan ko si Ginoong Bongbong Marcos na makipagdebate, para mabigyan ang taumbayan ng pagkakataong makaharap siya at matanong tungkol sa mga kontrobersiyang pumapalibot sa kanya (I am inviting Mr. Marcos to a debate, to give the people a chance to face him and ask about the controversies surrounding him). We owe it to the people and to our country. Kung papayag po kayo, anytime, anywhere, darating ako (If you agree, I will be there anytime, anywhere),” Robredo said.
Robredo explained that she opted not to attend the Comelec forum to make time for other campaign activities organized by volunteers and her supporters as they go into the homestretch phase of the May elections.
She also stressed that she has already shown the people her track record and plans, as well as her principles in various debates and forums she attended within the campaign period.
“Sa loob ng ilang araw, boboto na ang mga Pilipino. Halos tatlong buwan nang tumatakbo ang official campaign period, at naihayag ko na sa maraming pagkakataon ang track record, mga plano, at mga prinsipyo ko. Maraming beses na akong nagbigay ng panayam sa mga panel interview at naka-post online ang lahat ng recording na ito (In just a few days, Filipinos will cast their votes. The official campaign period has been running for three months now, and I have already stated in many opportunities my track record, my plans, and my principles. I have given multiple interviews in panel interviews and all its recordings are posted online),” Robredo said.
“Nagpasya akong hindi muna paunlakan ang imbitasyon ng COMELEC at KBP, para makapiling ang mga volunteers natin na nag-aabono, nag-aambagan, at nagbubuhos ng oras at pagod para makasama tayo (I decided not to accommodate the invitation of the Comelec to be with the volunteers who have been using their own money, exerting time and effort to join me),” Robredo added.