A retired commissioner gave advice to a presidential candidate attending the debate hosted by SMNI, a media network run by church founder Apollo Quiboloy.
Retired Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon on Tuesday cheered labor leader Leody de Guzman for confirming his attendance at the presidential debate.
Other participants are former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., former presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella and former defense chief Norberto Gonzales.
Those who declined to attend the debate were Vice President Leni Robredo, Sens. Manny Pacquiao and Ping Lacson and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno.
Entrepreneur Faisal Mangondato, another presidential aspirant, earlier expressed his intention to appear but later backed out because he was not invited.
In her tweet, Guanzon gave this advice:
“Go, Ka Leody, debate with BBM. It will show how weak he is. Mahina si Marcos Jr. Even Pres. Duterte said that BBM is WEAK,” Guanzon tweeted hours before the debates.
“BBM” are the initials of Marcos Jr.
Her tweet has received over 14,800 likes and more than 1,900 retweets as of this writing.
Last year, President Rodrigo Duterte called Marcos Jr. a “weak leader,” citing that it was the reason he would not want an alliance with Lakas-CMD which adopted the late dictator’s son as its presidential bet.
“No, I cannot, because andiyan si Marcos eh, hindi ako bilib diyan, he’s really a weak leader,” he said before.
“Totoo ‘yan, hindi ako naninira ng tao, kasi spoiled child, only son, of course he can talk, he delivers English articulate, nag-aral kasi kung saan-saan, pero kung sabihin mo may crisis, ganun, he’s a weak leader at may bagahe siya,” Duterte added.
De Guzman is among those who previously said that he was “game” to attend SMNI’s presidential debates.
“Bilang kandidato, obligasyon kong ilahad ang aking plataporma sa lahat ng botante (kasama ang mga nanlalait sa pagtakbo ng isang labor leader sa pagkapangulo,” he said on Monday.
“Kailangan nilang marinig ang lahat ng panig para sa kanilang mas maayos na pagpapasya sa Mayo,” De Guzman added.
In reference to the network’s founder, Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, some social media users called the attention of the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation hours before the debates.
The pastor, a self-proclaimed “appointed son of God,” is currently among those on its “most wanted list” in the US for his alleged role in a labor and sex trafficking scheme.
The FBI said Quiboloy also forced victims to “solicit donations for a bogus charity and enter into sham marriages.”
The agency added that he was indicted by a federal grand jury for “conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion and sex trafficking of children; sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion; conspiracy; and bulk cash smuggling.”