Presidential frontrunner Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. said reaching out to his supporters and listening to the needs of the people from the local level through his campaign sorties is more effective way for him to communicate and discuss his platforms than going to debates.
“Mas maganda para sa akin, sa kampanya ko na pumunta sa tao, na imbes nakikipag-away ako, nakikipag-debate ako, nakikinig ako sa tao at naririnig ko sa kanila kung anong hinaing nila, ano ‘yung pangamba nila sa darating na panahon. Lahat ‘yan, para sa akin mas mahalaga,” Marcos said in a radio interview over DZRH.
Marcos, calling himself an old school, said direct campaigning and meeting the people during sorties is more important for him than sitting in a room and exchanging words with his fellow candidates.
He also said that one of the reasons why he is so aggressive in reaching out to the people was that the UniTeam is already behind in its campaign schedule.
The leading presidential bet said that they were forced to take a 21-day break after a coronavirus outbreak hit the BBM headquarters last January sending all scheduled activities into a screeching halt.
“Mas importante ba magpunta, makipag-usap sa mga local leader, makipag-usap sa mga sectoral leader at sasabihin ano ang mga hinaing ninyo, anong pangamba ninyo, ano iniisip niyo, if that is more important than debate, I say yes to this,” Marcos said in a separate interview during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay.
He explained that he might attend debates if they are productive and constructive where candidates would have enough time to deliver and share their platforms and policies.
“They will say, ‘give me your policy on agriculture and do it in one and half minutes, how can you do that?” he asked.
“If it’s going to be that way, na pare-pareho na lang and then nag-debate, it gets personal, what use is that to anyone? If there is a way the debate will be actually productive, constructive that we can talk about policy, we can argue, we can debate properly, then fine I would go but if we are going to repeat and repeat the same thing, I rather campaign,” he added.
Asked if he is afraid of being attacked by other candidates during debates, Marcos said the same thing is being done on him already on other platforms like social media.
“Hindi naman problema ‘yon, kahit wala namang debate ganoon naman talaga … Ang problema talaga is if it’s the best use of your time, we have 90 days lang. Ano ba ang pinaka-effective para sa kampanya. Kampanya ito hindi naman ito kwentuhan. Kampanya ito, kailangan kong makakuha ng boto, kailangan kong mag-organize ground level, lahat ‘yan kailangan naming gawin so what is the most important thing at the time,” Marcos said.
Marcos said it is more important to address the problems being faced by Filipinos today than getting personal with other candidates, which he said is not beneficial for each one of them.
“Let’s talk about the present, and let’s talk about the future because that is what is on people’s minds. People are worried, what is our life going to be, what are you going to do for us, what will you do that will help my life, that will help the school of my child, my prospects on my job, all these things. That’s what people are worried about,” he added.
“If we will talk about that, then that’s fine, well and good, but we must be given a chance to talk about it in detail,” Marcos continued.
Earlier, Atty. Vic Rodriguez, Marcos’ chief of staff and spokesperson, confirmed that the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) standard-bearer will not attend the Commission on Elections debate as his commitment to the UniTeam supporters.
“We shall continue with our preferred mode of direct communication with the people and engage them in a more personal face to face interaction that discusses real issues that affect them today, tomorrow and in the days to come as this election is all about our collective future,” Rodriguez said.