'I will do this campaign without joining debates,' declares Sara Duterte

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 12)— Vice presidential candidate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte has announced she will not be joining any debates ahead of the May 9 polls.

“I’ve already decided that I will do this campaign without joining debates,” Duterte told reporters in an ambush interview in Parañaque City on Saturday.

Iniiwan ko na po ‘yan sa lahat ng ating mga kababayan, ang pagdesisyon sa pagpili nila sa vice president, na ganito po ‘yung aking direksyon sa kampanya.”

[Translation: I leave it up to the public, the decision to choose the vice president, this will be my direction in the campaign.]

Duterte made the pronouncement when asked about her attendance in the debate organized by the Commission on Elections next week.

Her camp previously confirmed that she will not be participating, but did not offer any explanation.

The vice presidential bet and her running mate, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, have skirted other election events — including the debates hosted by CNN Philippines in February.

RELATED: Sara Duterte called out for absence in CNNPH debate; questions left unanswered

But is there still a chance for Duterte to change her mind?

“Well kung magbago man o hindi (if we will decide otherwise), we will let you know,” she replied.

“But as of this very moment, the decision is to conduct this campaign without joining debates,” she added.

CNN Philippines’ Rex Remitio contributed to this report.