By ROGER M. BALANZA
Presidential aspirant Leni Robredo said presidential debates give voters opportunity to assess the capability of candidates for president and those who shun such forums do not respect the right of Filipinos to be informed.
“Kailangan kaya mong masagot kung ano ‘yung issues laban sa ’yo; hindi ka magtatago. Kaya para sa ’kin, ito ‘yung pagbibigay-halaga at respeto sa taumbayan na maghahalal sa’yo,” Robredo said on Sunday, February 27, at the “The Filipino Votes,” a presidential debate organized by CNN Philippines.
Although she did not name names, Robredo’s blast clearly refered to former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, son of the late dictator president Ferdinand Marcos Sr. Bongbong was a no-show in the event, as he also skipped several other previous major debates.
Apart from Robredo, the CNN event was attended by 8 candidates aspiring for president in the May 9 polls, including Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, Senator Panfilo Lacson, Senator Manny Pacquiao and labor leader Leody de Guzman.
“Kailangan kaya mong masagot kung ano ‘yung issues laban sa ’yo; hindi ka magtatago. Kaya para sa ’kin, ito ‘yung pagbibigay-halaga at respeto sa taumbayan na maghahalal sa’yo,” Robredo said
For refusing to attend a forum where Filipinos could judge his character and ,ability to lead, Bongbong is a failure in leadership, said Robredo, who is running next to the dictator’s son in recent surveys for presidential preference,
“‘Yung number one ingredient din ng leadership, aside from character, is you show up in the most difficult times. ‘Pag hindi ka mag-show up in the most difficult times, hindi ka lider,” said Robredo.