Duterte: Marcos was right to decline debates

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(FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 27) — President Rodrigo Duterte said incoming President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. was correct in declining debates during the campaign period, saying candidates were only given a limited time to explain their views.

"During the campaign, we had a limited time to talk. And the next time you are a candidate, you are invited to that, tama si Marcos [Marcos was right] — decline," Duterte said on Monday.

Duterte added that he and his fellow candidates had no opportunity to talk further.

"And that's it, you cannot even talk further. And it was for show," he added, saying sponsors of the aired debates were the ones who benefitted.

Marcos was heavily critized for not taking part in most of the debates held during the campaign period — explaining that they had fully-booked schedules. With the exception of a debate hosted by SMNI, Marcos skipped those hosted by other networks.

His running mate, Vice President-elect Sara Duterte, likewise was a no show at these events.

Both chose instead to take their campaign on the road, visiting towns and cities nationwide to lay out their platforms. Marcos also preferred one-on-one interviews where he could speak at length about topics concerning the presidency.

"This is our way of directly communicating with the Filipino people. This is our way of communicating unadulterated, unfiltered, and unbiased," Marcos' spokesperson and incoming executive secretary Vic Rodriguez said.