Partido Federal ng Pilipinas standard bearer Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said reaching out to his supporters and listening to the needs of the people at the local level through his campaign sorties are more effective ways for him to communicate and discuss his platforms than going to debates.
“It is better for me, in my campaign to go to the people, that instead of fighting, [instead of] debating, I listen to the people and I hear from them what they are complaining about, what they are worried about in the future. All of that, for me, is more important,” Marcos said in a radio interview over dzRH.
Marcos, calling himself an old school politician, said direct campaigning and meeting the people during sorties are 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.
He said they were forced to take a 21-day break after a COVID-19 outbreak hit the BBM headquarters in January.
“Is it more important to go talk to local leaders, talk to sectoral leaders and ask what are your grievances, what are your fears, what are you thinking? 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 said 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, and then the debate 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 would rather campaign,” he added.
Asked if he is afraid of being attacked by other candidates during debates, Marcos said the same thing is already being done against him on other platforms like social media.
“It’s not a problem – even if there is no debate, it’s really like that. The real problem is if it’s the best use of your time [because] we only have 90 days. What is most effective for the campaign? This is a campaign, I have to get votes, I have to organize at the ground level, all that we have to do,” Marcos said.
Meanwhile, two groups of retired senior officers and enlisted personnel, including generals and non-commissioned officers from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police, issued manifestos of support backing the UniTeam tandem.
“We firmly believe the UniTeam tandem of Senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos and Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio will promote national unity, from the northern islands of Batanes, to the southernmost part of Tawi-Tawi,” read the manifesto For National Unity, For Peace, and For Inclusive
Progress signed by at least 486 retired senior officers.
Among the signatories of the manifesto were former Philippine Navy Chief retired Vice Admiral Ernesto de Leon, retired Marine Commandant Major Gen. Edgardo Espinosa, retired Army Lt. Gen. Raul Urgello and retired Major Gens. Eduardo Matillano and Rodrigo De Gracia, both of the Philippine National Police (PNP).