Former Sen. Bongbong Marcos on Tuesday said he would accept invitations to attend presidential forums only if his schedule permits as he confirmed his participation in the debate organized by the network owned by church leader Apollo Quiboloy.
The son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos said he committed join the SMNI presidential debate airing live later in the day and even signed the agreement for his attendance. Quiboloy earlier endorsed Marcos Jr.'s candidacy.
"Kapag nag-oo ako na sasali ay tutuparin ko kahit sino ang nag-imbita at kahit gaano man ka-hostile and inaasahan kong mga tanong," Marcos said in statement.
“But I commit and say yes only if my schedules will permit,” he added.
Marcos said his schedule had been loaded since the 90-day campaign period for the May 9 elections started last Feb. 8, but a break between events allowed him to be in Metro Manila to take part in the SMNI event.
While Marcos will join the SMNI debate, his rivals Vice President Leni Robredo, Senators Panfilo Lacson and Manny Pacquiao, and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno chose not to do so, mostly citing scheduling conflicts.
"Maybe each of them has good reason to skip the event. I respect their decisions as I felt they have respected mine when I failed to attend similar forum in the past," Marcos said of his fellow candidates skipping the debate.
Marcos previously skipped the presidential interviews hosted by GMA News' Jessica Soho as well as the live forum organized by the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas. He will also not attend the CNN Philippines' presidential debate on Feb. 27, citing conflict of schedule.
Apart from Marcos, presidential candidates Leody De Guzman, Ernesto Abella, and Norberto Gonzales will attend the SMNI debate.