Duterte: I’d rather sleep than debate

Robertzon Ramirez - The Philippine Star

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines – Presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte would rather sleep in Davao City than waste his time debating with rivals and hearing ganito kami sa Makati (We are like this in Makati) or matuwid na daan (straight path) during the second presidential debate on March 20.

Duterte said there is no sense arguing with other contenders if they would only be bragging about a city or a platform, apparently referring to Vice President Jejomar Binay and Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas, respectively.

The Davao mayor and running mate Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano on Monday night visited Palo in Leyte where they paid Msgr. Rex Ramirez and Mayor Remedios Petilla – mother of LP senatorial bet Jericho Petilla – a courtesy call.

“I might (attend). But if I would just be hearing (those claims), I’d rather sleep. What is there to debate about Makati and daang matuwid?” Duterte told reporters.

He explained that what happened during the first presidential debate in Cagayan de Oro City was more of cornering the candidates on the issues raised against them and not an exercise to allow candidates to express themselves and talk on the platforms they would implement if elected on May 9. 

The debate was held at the Capitol University in Cagayan de Oro on Feb. 21. 

When asked if he would attend the debate, Duterte joked, “Ayaw ko na… naubusan na ako ng barong (No, I’ve run out of barongs).”

Despite Duterte’s second thoughts, his executive assistant Bong Go gave assurance that the mayor would attend the second debate in Cebu City.

“He will attend. He is always ready to answer all the questions with his stored knowledge with or without preparations,” Go told The STAR.  

The Visayas leg of the presidential debates will be held at the University of the Philippines in Cebu on Sunday, hosted by The STAR, TV5 and BusinessWorld.

The debate, organized by the Commission on Elections, aims to focus on the candidates’ platform on disaster preparedness and climate change adaptation, health care, education and fighting corruption.

Sign bank waiver

Meanwhile, Cayetano dared his rivals to sign the bank secrecy law waiver in the interest of transparency, just like what he and Duterte did.

He said the bank secrecy law should not cover public officials to allow transparency and facilitate a check on all their bank accounts here and abroad. – With Mike Frialde                        

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