By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: The Summit Express

For outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte, President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s no-show to pre-2022 election debates is a right move as television marketers only benefited from it.

In his speech during the oath taking of his son and newly-elected Davao City Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte, he said that debate promoters have earned money at the public’s expense.

“During the campaign, we had a limited time to talk, and the next time that you are a candidate, you are invited to do that… Tama si Marcos, decline,” Duterte said.

“We were only given half a minute or one minute and that’s it. You cannot even talk further… It was for show,” he added.

The son of the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. had become a social media topic for his no-shows in multiple election debates. 

His first absence was on January 21 when GMA News organized a one-on-one interview with veteran journalist Jessica Soho. 

It was then followed by the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) presidential forum on February 4, debates hosted by CNN Philippines on February 2, and Comelec presidential debates last March 19.

Marcos Jr., however, marked his presence in talk show host Boy Abunda's tell-all interview, Korina Sanchez-Roxas' cooking show and one-on-one talk, and presidential forums held by DZRH and SMNI, respectively.

SMNI is the network of Kingdom of Jesus Christ Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, who endorsed Marcos and his running mate Sara Duterte-Carpio in the 2022 polls.

Despite his absence from the forums, Marcos Jr. won the 2022 presidential race through a landslide victory of 31,629,783 votes against Vice President Leni Robredo with 15,035,773 votes, paving the way for the Marcoses’ comeback in Malacañang after 36 years of being ousted following the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution.

Marcos Jr. is set to be inaugurated on Thursday, June 30, which will be held at the National Museum of Fine Arts.

Edited by Lance Arevada