Presidential aspirant Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. (File photo)

MANILA – Presidential aspirant Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. will not join the presidential debate organized by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

In a statement on Monday, lawyer Vic Rodriguez, Marcos' chief of staff and spokesperson, confirmed the camp's non-participation in the presidential debate on Saturday.

"Presidential frontrunner Bongbong Marcos’ words are his bond, thus we shall honor our commitment to our supporters to be with them on the field on this day," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez noted they will remain on-ground campaigning.

"We shall continue with our preferred mode of direct communication with the people and engage them in a more personal face-to-face interaction that discusses real issues that affect them today, tomorrow and in the days to come as this election is all about our collective future,” he said.

In a radio DWIZ interview on Saturday, Senator Imee Marcos advised her brother to participate in the presidential debate to answer “all” the criticisms.

“Answer all their criticisms. After all, we have faced all our cases. We answer all the criticisms. He can easily do that,” she said.

On Sunday, Comelec said six presidential candidates already have submitted written confirmation that they will join the PiliPinas Debate, including former presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella, Labor leader Leody de Guzman, Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, Senator Manny Pacquiao and former Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales.

Meanwhile, Vice President Leni Robredo, businessman Faisal Mangondato and lawyer/doctor Jose Montemayor have said they will participate in the debate. (PNA)