Nine presidential bets commit to attend Comelec debates

Nine of 10 presidential candidates have committed to participate in the March 19 PiliPinas Debates organized by the Commission on Elections.

TAKE YOUR PICK. Drinking cups bearing the images and names of five frontrunners in the May 9 presidential elections are sold at select 7-11 convenience stores. Norman Cruz

In a Twitter post Sunday, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said the following hopefuls had committed in writing to attend the debates: former presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella, labor leader Leody de Guzman, Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, former Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales, Senator Panfilo Lacson and Senator Manny Pacquiao.

Meanwhile, Vice President Leni Robredo, businessman Faisal Mangondato, and lawyer and doctor Jose Montemayor Jr. have expressed their attendance in the debates verbally.

Former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has not confirmed his attendance, either verbally or in writing.

Earlier, Jimenez said candidates who would decline to attend the PiliPinas Debates would not be allowed to air their electronic rally in the Comelec platform.

The first presidential PiliPinas Debate would be held on March 19 at the Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City.

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A second presidential debate is slated on April 3.

The camp of Robredo said the Vice President will submit her formal written commitment “shortly.”

“But to be clear: VP Leni will be there for the Comelec debates,” Robredo’s spokesman, Barry Gutierrez, said in a post on his official Twitter account.

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