All 10 Presidential Candidates to Attend Comelec Debate Round 1

Including Bongbong Marcos.
Photo/s: Lisa Marie David, Reuters

(UPDATE) All 10 presidential candidates will attend the first round of debates organized by the Commission on Elections on March 19, its spokesperson said Thursday.

While the preparations for the Comelec's presidential debates are still ongoing, James Jimenez said that "all of the candidates have signified the commitment to attend the first debate."

Questions will not be provided in advance to the candidates, he said.

The spokesperson of Bongbong Marcos, however, said the presidential aspirant is not yet confirmed to attend the debate.

"His participation in the said event will only be confirmed if his hectic campaign schedules permit," said Vic Rodriguez.

Marcos previously declined to attend a forum organized by the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas and the debate to be hosted by CNN Philippines on Feb. 27.

He last attended the presidential debate of SMNI, owned by religious leader Pastor Apollo Quiboloy. The only son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. had said he would accept invitations to attend debates only if his schedule permits.

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Jimenez previously said that Comelec was considering a series of three presidential debates.

"Nakikita namin na mataas ang interes ng mga kababayan natin sa mga pagkakataon kung saan nagkakaharap-harap ang mga kandidato," he said during Kapihan sa Manila Bay on Jan. 26.

"We will make sure that we give them an opportunity to see that in a Comelec-sanctioned event para lahat dumalo," he added.


Are Journalists Biased for Asking Candidates Hard Questions?

Bongbong Says 'Biased' Means 'Anti-Marcos'

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