Marcos camp wrote Comelec 'to know format' of its debate

Presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s campaign manager on Monday, Feb. 28 said he was tasked to write a letter to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and other presidentiables to ask about the format of the poll body's debate ahead of time.

Benhur Abalos, who recently resigned from his post as the chairman of Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to join the Marcos camp, told reporters that his correspondence to the poll body aims to already settle questions about the rules before the actual event.

"Ako yung inutusan ni BBM (Bongbong Marcos) the national campaign manager to write a letter sa lahat ng presidentiable, at sa Comelec, na pagusapan ano ang format ng debate para kasi ginagawa sa ibang bansa, partikular sa America, na lahat ng tatakbo roon sa debate ay talagang nagusap-usap (I was tasked by BBM, as the national campaign manager, to write a letter to all presidentiables and to the Comelec to talk first about the format of the debate, just like what is being done in America, where all candidates talk ahead of time)," he said in an event in Quezon City.

He said Comelec has yet to respond to him.

Abalos's remarks came after Comelec spokesman James Jimenez disclosed in a Twitter post that the Marcos camp, through Abalos, wrote them a letter to ask about the details of the Comelec-sponsored debate on March 19.

Aside from the format of the debate, the Marcos camp also wants to get an idea about the "issues to be discussed, the time allotment for each, the right to respond" and "Who will be the moderator."

Abalos said he learned of Marcos's supposed participation in the debate through the news, which the camp belied since the presidential aspirant's attendance to it has not yet been confirmed.

"Dahil nga sumulat kami at wala pa rin namang sagot...tingnan namin sa schedule namin, kasi nga naka-schedule na rịn kami eh (We already sent a letter to Comelec but they haven't responded yet. Let's see if our schedule permits, because we already have other confirmed schedules)," he said.