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Retired UP prof: Candidates asking for debate topics have ‘nothing between their ears’

By: Neil Arwin Mercado – Reporter /INQUIRER.net /March 03, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — Candidates who are asking for the topics to be discussed ahead of the actual debate “have nothing between their ears,” a political science professor from the University of the Philippines (UP) said.

Retired UP professor Clarita Carlos made the remark after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) decided to inform presidential and vice presidential candidates of the general topics that would be discussed in its own sanctioned debate in March.

“It tells you that they have nothing between their ears,” Carlos said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel on Wednesday when asked about candidates who ask for debate topics.

“I have been teaching for 55 years, if you were my student, am I going to give you my final exam questions? Tell me,” she added.

Comelec’s decision to release the general topics for the debate came after the request of the camp of presidential bet Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos for candidates to be allowed to tackle among themselves and the commission the topic to be discussed in the debate.

“You are threatening to be the president of the Republic of 110 million people, and what are you reading?” Carlos said.

“You should be reading international politics. You should know the regional configurations, you should know things about the domestic concerns. You’re not just selling taho on the street for God’s sake,” she added.

Carlos said that while no one can compel the candidates to attend the debates, however “they’ll have to wait for the pluses and minuses of not attending.”

“After all, there are several publics who will not mind and there are publics who will mind. So, you know, they take their chances,” Carlos said.

Marcos’ spokesperson, Atty. Vic Rodriguez, has previously said that the presidential candidate’s attendance will only be confirmed “if his hectic campaign schedules permit.”

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