Presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos' participation in the debates organized by the Commission on Elections is still up in the air, with his team set to finalize it within the week, his spokesperson said Tuesday.
"Maybe this week we will finalize because our schedule is very tight and it's getting tighter by the day as we go into the middle of March," Vic Rodriguez told reporters when asked if Marcos would attend the Comelec debates.
The first Comelec presidential debate is set for March 19, but Marcos has a full schedule on that same day which was finalized two months ago, according to Rodriguez.
Marcos earlier said that he would participate in debates only if his schedule permits it. He last appeared on SMNI's presidential debate after skipping similar fora organized by CNN Philippines and the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas.
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said those who would not attend the debates would no longer be allowed to air their e-rallies on the poll body's official channel.
Asked about the consequence for skipping the debate, Rodriguez said the Comelec should explain how it came up with the sanction.
"We want to know what's the basis of Director Jimenez. Is it an en banc resolution or he's just expressing his own opinion or preference for those who are not attending the Comelec-sponsored debate?" he said.
The Comelec has yet to respond to a request for comment on Rodriguez's statement.
Apart from the event on March 19, a second presidential debate is also scheduled on April 3. A vice presidential debate will also be held on March 20, with a presidential and vice presidential town hall debate happening on April 24 and 23, respectively.