Vice President Leni Robredo urged candidates running for office this election to focus not only on entertainment during the campaign, but also on their platforms that will address pressing problems in the country.
While it has become common for candidates to sing and dance for their supporters in campaign sorties, VP Leni said the people also deserve to know where they stand on policies and issues affecting Filipinos.
“Sana pagkatapos sumayaw, pagkatapos kumanta, sabihin kung ano iyong tinatayuan kasi dine-deserve ng taong malaman iyon,” VP Leni said in an interview during her visit to the Pagamutan ng Dasmariñas in Cavite to speak in a multisectoral dialogue on Wednesday, February 27, 2019.
The Vice President then joined calls for the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) candidates to take up the challenge of Otso Diretso senatoriables to a public debate.
“Kasi kung hindi debate, paminsan dinadaan sa kanta, dinadaan sa sayaw, na hindi mo… Parang napakahirap botohan iyong kandidato na hindi mo alam kung saan siya tumatayo pagdating sa mga mahahalagang issues na kailangang harapin,” she said.
“Iyong debate sana pagkakataon na sa isang entablado, nakikita ng mga tao kung ano iyong pagkatao, ano iyong mga paniniwala ng mga bobotohan nilang mga kandidato,” VP Leni added.
Despite Davao City Mayor and HNP campaign manager Sara Duterte accepting the challenge, the party’s candidates failed to show up at Plaza Miranda in Quiapo, Manila last Monday, February 25, 2019. Mayor Sara later explained that their candidates will be only willing to join if there would be a formal invitation and clear guidelines on the debate.
Meanwhile, Liberal Party President Senator Francis Pangilinan, who also manages Otso Diretso’s campaign, responded to the presidential daughter’s call and said he will coordinate with incumbent senators from HNP to discuss the rules and format of the debate.