Sara will skip the Comelec vice-presidential debate


Mayor of DAVAO, Sara Duterte-Carpio. Photo added

(UPDATE) The mayor of the city of DAVAO, Sara Duterte-Carpio, will not participate in the debate of the candidates for the vice-presidency organized by the Electoral Commission (Comelec), indicated her spokesperson.

Duterte-Carpio spokeswoman Christina Frasco said the president’s daughter had not received any formal invitation from Comelec regarding the March 20 debate.

“Vice-presidential candidate Sara Duterte and her team have not received any formal invitation from Comelec to join the debate despite the public announcement of her confirmation to attend the event,” Frasco said in a statement. .

“Anyway, whether there is an invitation or not, Sara Duterte will not attend the debate,” she added.

The statement contradicts Comelec spokesman James Jimenez’s announcement that of the nine vice-presidential candidates, only Buhay party slate representative Jose “Lito” Atienza Jr. declined to run. come in due to knee surgery.

As that developed, former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has also yet to confirm his attendance at the Comelec-sponsored debate for presidential candidates scheduled for March 19.

“Philippine Federal Party Flag Bearer Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr. has yet to confirm his participation in the Comelec-sponsored debate which was scheduled for 7-9:30 p.m. on March 19, 2022,” Victor Rodriguez, Marcos” , the spokesperson said in a statement Thursday.

“His participation in said event, which will be held at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan, will only be confirmed if his busy campaign schedule allows,” he added.

In a tweet after Marcos’ camp statement was released, Jimenez said Comelec had been informed of Marcos’ “willingness to participate” in the proceedings.

Jimenez attached a letter sent to Comelec by Marcos’ national campaign manager, Benjamin Abalos Jr., dated February 11, which states, “First and foremost, presidential candidate Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. has expressed his willingness to join the same.”

“However, it would be more appropriate and prudent for all presidential candidates to have the opportunity to discuss among themselves before the Format Committee, which will include the issues to be discussed, the time allotted to each, the right to respond and rebut their arguments, who will be the moderator, among others,” reads Abalos’ letter to Comelec.

Marcos had refused to attend many presidential interviews and forums, citing either a conflict in his schedule or that he believed the interviewer was prejudiced against him.

He has only attended one group event so far – the debate led by SMNI, the network owned by Pastor Apollo Quiboloy that endorsed his candidacy.

In the SMNI debates, Marcos was joined by presidential candidates, former Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella, labor leader Leodegario “Ka Leody” de Guzman and former defense chief Norberto Gonzales.

Marcos previously skipped the forum hosted by the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas and begged the CNN Philippines debates – both citing a scheduling conflict.

Marcos also did not participate in the “Jessica Soho Presidential Interviews”.

Domagoso: Reduce fuel excise tax now

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said on Friday that a huge reduction in the fuel excise tax was needed amid continued increases in global oil prices which are expected to worsen with the persistent military tension between Russia and Ukraine, in order to cushion the socio-economic crisis. impact it will have on the lives of Filipinos.

Domagoso, who is running for president, said that as the Ukrainian-Russian conflict escalates into war, oil supplies will become all the more scarce and expensive.

“The impact on the lives of Filipinos will be so difficult in the coming months. It is time for the government to step back and sacrifice some revenue just to ease people’s suffering,” he said.

The tension between Ukraine and Russia has driven up oil prices around the world. And with the start of Russia’s “military operation” in the Eastern European country on Thursday, the world saw the price per barrel of crude soar.

Domagoso noted that as early as September he pushed for a tax cut.

“Long before these troubles in Europe, I have already said that this [continuous oil price hike] is a possible scenario. As early as September, when I had a dialogue with farmers and fishermen in Tarlac, I had already warned that the price of oil on the world market would continue to rise,” he said.

Domagoso pointed out that any rise in oil prices has a domino effect on every Filipino’s daily expenses, from transportation to food, and from electricity to other basic necessities.

Reducing taxes on petroleum products and electricity, he said, would be a priority if he became president.

“As we are not an oil-producing country, we import our oil needs, and even our electricity is supplied by oil, coal and other sources that are affected by oil prices,” he said. He underlines.

In addition to the fuel tax cut, Domagoso said it is also planning another 50% tax break on electricity, as this would benefit not only consumers but also business owners, because it would mean additional savings and result in income for all. .

Domagoso said that the positive effects of the reduction in fuel taxes will be immediately felt by operators and drivers of public commercial vehicles who will now waive their request for adjustment of tariffs, which would be detrimental to the commuter public, mainly affecting the poor and the middle class.

Similarly, he said a 50% reduction in electricity taxes would mean more food on the table and more money to spend on basic necessities, including medicine.

“We cannot reduce the cost of generating electricity, but end users or consumers may end up paying lower electricity bills. How ? Reduce the electricity tax by 50%. Government revenue will be reduced, but the people will gain from the money they can save,” Domagoso said in a mixture of English and Filipino.

Lacson supports the NEDA plan

Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, also a presidential candidate, supports the fiscal consolidation plan that the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) will submit for consideration by whoever wins the election.

“Thank you NEDA. That’s what I always said during budget deliberations. With an annual average of 328 billion pesos of unused appropriations over the last 10 years and 700 billion pesos of misused/abused budget each year, there couldn’t be better advice,” Lacson tweeted.

He was referring to the lack of proper budget planning that resulted in the loss of some 700 billion pesos a year, citing a statement by former deputy mediator Cyril Ramos.

NEDA is currently developing the plan to repay the country’s bloated debt and reduce the budget deficit caused by the pandemic.

Under-Secretary for Socio-Economic Planning Rosemarie Edillon has been quoted in reports as saying the plan will include proposals for cuts to non-priority budget items.

In his 18 years as a senator, Lacson has earned a reputation as the eagle-eyed watchdog of the national budget, flagging questionable appropriations and pushing for them to be removed from the budget measure.


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