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Sara Duterte calls Otso Diretso “very depressing, very dark and very disorganized”

Ball of fire Hugpong ng Pagababago chairman Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte is a tireless endorser of President Rodrigo Duterte’s candidates for the midterm polls. AL PADILLA

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio did not hide her irritation with members of the opposition slate, Otso Diretso, after they asked her to set rules on the debate they requested, calling them “very depressing, very dark and very disorganized.”

She made this remark after Otso Diretso candidate and election lawyer Romulo Macalintal told the President’s daughter to set the rules, venue and time for the formal arrangement of the debate.

Using a metaphor, Duterte-Carpio likened Hugpong ng Pagbabago-supported candidates to the sun, HnP to the moon and Otso Diretso to a black hole which she referred to as a very depressing, dark and disorganized group.

“Our candidates are willing to participate in the debate, then bara-bara (all of a sudden), (they are) very unprofessional and they will direct me, I am the mayor of Davao City. I am the chairman of HnP, then they will make me a secretary of a group that is afflicted with (a mental) disorder,”

Duterte-Carpio told reporters during their campaign sortie in Pateros.

She reiterated HnP did not bring up the challenge for a debate and they are the ones who have a “fixation” on debates.

The Davao City local chief executive added she had explained a debate should be in a professional and formal manner where there is a third-party organizer.

“I told them to make it professional. Don’t tell me how to be a professional. They present themselves to be senators. They should act like senators,” she stressed.

Furthermore, Duterte-Carpio said if she will put herself in the voters’ shoes, she will not vote for them because she can see opposition candidates cannot present anything than challenge them to a debate.

“I really want to help everybody, even them, because all of them can be possible senators in the future… I want to help but I decided not to share my life with them anymore,” she said.

Otso Diretso urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to facilitate a public debate between their candidates and those of the administration-backed HnP. In a letter to Comelec chair Sheriff Abas, opposition senatorial candidates requested the poll body to officiate the debate at the time, date and place to be chosen by the commission and following its own rules.

The opposition slate specifically wants to have a face-off against the 13 HnP senatorial candidates for the May 13 midterm polls.

Macalintal said they are challenging the HnP candidates to a debate as the administration bets are associated with issues that are either controversial or confusing.

Debate obsession

Four Otso Diretso senatorial bets filed the request for a debate with the Comelec and assist the media in covering the event.

The initiative of holding a public debate among senatorial bets was prompted by Duterte-Carpio’s demand for a third-party organizer.

Among the issues to be discussed in the debate are “foreign incursion in our waters and the influx of foreign labor in the face of massive unemployment of Filipinos; the Train law and other anti-poor policies; the alarming degree of unsolved murders around the country, and the lowering of the minimum age of criminal responsibility and official corruption and cronyism, for example, in reclamation projects and telco contracts.

Informed choices needed

“We are one with the Comelec in empowering the electorate to make more informed choices. Debates provide an avenue for voters to understand issues and the values and character of the people who are courting their votes. The public deserves to know whether they are voting for their own interest or those of the wealthy, powerful few,” Otso Diretso stated in its letter.

Likewise, the Comelec may set up or provide the rules that will govern this debate and/or such rules that may be agreed upon by the parties.

Raymart T. Lolo

Sara Duterte calls Otso Diretso “very depressing, very dark and very disorganized” Sara Duterte calls Otso Diretso “very depressing, very dark and very disorganized” Reviewed by AsianPolicy.Press on 9:45:00 PM Rating: 5

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