DAVAO CITY —The camp of Presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte belied reports that the Davao City mayor will not attend the second presidential debate scheduled in Cebu City on March 20.
In an emailed statement on Thursday, March 17 Peter Laviña, spokesperson and head of the Duterte media group, said “there is no truth to stories that Duterte will back out of the debate because it will be held in UP Cebu.”
Laviña said they were alerted about the supposed decision of the Presidential candidate from Mindanao, which reportedly originated in Cebu and spread through a poster circulating online.
He said the rumor was made to appear to be in connection with the recent visit of Duterte in UP Los Baños where he was questioned by a student on his budgetary priorities. The student was later tagged as “rude” by some of Duterte’s supporters online.
“This is a squid tactic to confuse our supporters and paint our candidate as a coward, liar, and disengaging — things that he is not,” Laviña said.
Laviña called it “insidious black propaganda.”
“Everybody, by now knows that Duterte is willing to face eveyone even in their own backyard because he has the truth and the moral courage to back his claims that he alone is the hope and future of the Filipino nation,” Laviña said.
Meanwhile, Presidential candidate Miriam Santiago in news reports announced that she will not be able to attend the second PILIpinas Debates after she has been “accepted as fit to undergo a clinical trial for a new, unnamed anti-cancer pill.”
Santiago and Duterte were seen as friendly to each other during the first debate held in Cagayan de Oro last February 21. Duterte even described Santiago as his “best friend”. (davaotoday.com)