By Arjane Faith Paala


While other presidential aspirants announced their absence, Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. confirmed his attendance in SMNI presidential debate after turning down CNN Philippines. 

Last Tuesday, the former senator joined the debates organized by Pastor Apollo Quiboloy’s Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) along with his fellow Palace hopefuls Leody De Guzman, Ernesto Abella, and Norberto Gonzales.

Quiboloy, faced with sex-trafficking charges, has already publicly endorsed Marcos Jr., convicted due to tax evasion, and his running mate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte for the upcoming elections. 

Marcos Jr. has been controversial to the public for his frequent absences in multiple presidential interviews and debates. 

His camp previously announced in an ANC interview that they will be declining forums set up to make the participants argue or pit up against each other.

On January 21, he rejected The Jessica Soho Presidential Interviews' invitation as he claimed the veteran journalist is "biased against the Marcoses" and her questions "will only focus on negativity about BBM."

Marcos Jr. once again did not show up in GMA's dzBB interview as the radio show cannot contact him while he was in their Davao City headquarters on January 28. 

He, again, ditched Panata sa Bayan: The KBP Presidential Candidates' Forum by Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) on February 4 for a cooking show interview with broadcast journalist Korina Sanchez. 

The survey frontrunner's "intentional" avoidance of media interviews didn't go unnoticed in the Commission on Elections' (Comelec) eyes and even tagged it as a "red flag."

According to Election Spokesman James Jimenez, his habit of being absent greatly reflects his incapability of leading a country.