Sen. Imee Marcos on Saturday urged her brother, Bongbong, to face his fellow presidential candidates in debates, saying that a leader should be responsible and ready to answer the questions thrown at him.
The eldest Marcos daughter said her younger brother should attend some, if not all, of the debates set for the May 9 elections. She believes her brother is not afraid of debates, contrary to the hashtag #MarcosDuwag that his critics say.
"Ako kasi gusto ko humaharap. Naiinis ako doon sa #MarcosDuwag. E hindi naman duwag yung kapatid ko. Sa pakiwari ko, kayang-kaya naman niyang sagutin yun. Yun pa, magaling naman yung kapatid ko," Imee said in a DWIZ interview.
"For me, he should go kahit na hindi lahat kung sa palagay niya wasting time na at talagang marami siyang gagawin. Ang payo ko, sumipot sa ilan," she added.
Since the official campaign period began on Feb. 8, Bongbong only showed up in the presidential debate organized by SMNI. He declined to attend a similar forum organized by the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas and CNN Philippines, citing conflicts in his schedule.
He has also yet to confirm his participation in the "Pilipinas Debates 2022: The Turning Point" organized by the Commission on Elections.
"Ang akin, mas sensitive kasi. Nasasaktan yung kapatid kong yan, mabait yan. So nasasaktan siya kapag binabanatan siya. Alam naman natin kapag ganun yung lead mo, baka kuyugin lang yung pobre, so ina-advise din siya na huwag," Imee said.
"Pero for me, kahit hindi mo puntahan lahat, pumunta ka. Kasi dapat transparent din, accountable, responsible, open, accessible ang isang kandidato. Nakikinig ka tapos sasagot ka, kung anong banat nila haharapan mo," she added.
Marcos' running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, also said she would skip debates as she campaigns to become the country's next vice president, adding that she would leave it to the voters to decide.
The Comelec previously said those who would skip debates would no longer be allowed to air their e-rallies through the poll body's official channel.