SMNI cancels VP debate to make way for final round of press-executive debate


Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Leody de Guzman (FILE PHOTOS)

MANILA, Philippines — The vice-presidential debate that the MNCH media network was supposed to hold on Feb. 22 has been canceled, a network official confirmed Thursday.

MNCH President Dr. Marlon Rosete told INQUIRER.net that the vice presidential debate was canceled to make way for another round of the presidential debate hosted by the media network last Tuesday, which featured candidates Ferdinand Marcos Jr. ., Leody de Guzman, Norberto Gonzales, and Ernesto Abella.

“Due to the clamor of the Filipino people to have a part 2 of the MNCH Presidential Debate, we have canceled the VP Debate scheduled for February 22 to make way for the final round of the MNCH Presidential Debate on March 26 in Okada Manila,” said Rosete said in a Viber message.

Vice-presidential candidate Walden Bello, De Guzman’s running mate, said Thursday it was “a pity” the debate was called off because he was looking forward to facing his opponent, the Davao City Mayor, Sara Duterte-Carpio.

Duterte-Carpio is Marcos Jr.’s running mate. Both are currently conducting investigations into preferred presidential and vice-presidential candidates.

“Too bad because I was looking forward to engaging Sara Duterte in a political debate,” Bello said in a Facebook post.

He said, however, that the cancellation of the debate was “not surprising”.

SARA BACKS OUTSMNI Quibuloy Station just informed me that they have canceled the scheduled Vice Presidential Debate…

Posted by Walden Bello on Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Bello claims Duterte-Carpio “withdrew” from the debate, to which the mayor of Davao replied, “No comment.”

Rosete also denied that Duterte-Carpio backed down.

Four presidential candidates – Vice President Leni Robredo, Senators Panfilo Lacson and Manny Pacquiao, and Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno – did not join the MNCH presidential debate last Tuesday.

The MNCH Media Network is owned by the leader of the Church of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, Pastor Apollo Quiboloy.

/MUF

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