INTERESTED administration candidates will join debates organized by a third party or an independent group.
This is the assurance made by Hugpong ng Pagbabago chairman and founder Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio following the announcement of the Otso Derecho that an independent organization will lead the debates of the senatorial candidates.
According to Duterte-Carpio, she will not force the HNP candidates to debate with the opposition but will let them decide on their own.
“Ang HNP kasi is the only organizer of different candidates of different parties. We will ask them kung sino interested na sumali sa debate,” she said in an interview after the campaign sortie in San Juan City.
When asked if she will require them to participate, Duterte-Carpio said “a debate is a personal choice.”
“Ikaw naman ang magdecide as a candidate kung gusto mo sumali o hindi, may mga candidates kasi kami na hind talaga interested sa debate because they based their candidadcy on their record,” she added.
Earlier, Duterte-Carpio said the HNP candidates are willing to debate provided that there will be an agreement with the rules and the debates should not be market-style.
HNP candidates did not attend the debate challenge by the Otso Derecho candidates in Plaza Miranda.
One of the HNP candidates, Francis Tolentino, said he is ready anytime to attend debates especially if they will discuss pressing issues of the country.
Tolentino reiterated his call for a Department of Water Resources Management, following a study on the worsening water supply depreciation.
As an advocate of water sustainability, he has been calling for homes and industries observing wise and prudent use of water as well as the protection of water resources.
“I read a study that by 2025, there will be widespread water crises. That’s only about six years from now. Water, like food, is essential to both human and non-human life. If we do not make good use of the water that we have left, there will be nothing left of us,” Tolentino said.
“The challenges of depleted and polluted water resources, and the global impacts of climate change, necessitate the establishment of a government agency that will concentrate efforts to mitigate the impacts of these challenges to the life and development of our communities,” he added.
He said issues like this should be the topic of the debate so that people will hear the plans of the candidates once given mandate.