INSTEAD of joining their opponents in debates, Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) allies will limit themselves to nightly consultations and sorties during the campaign period and will let their performance speak for themselves.

Rachel “Cutie” del Mar, Cebu City north district congressional candidate, begged off from joining a candidates’ forum organized by the Union of Progressive Students (UPS) of the University of the Philippines in the Visayas Cebu College this afternoon.

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She told organizers that BOPK’s nightly pulong-pulong is a sufficient venue to advance their voter’s education and discuss their advocacies. BOPK allies are running under the Liberal Party.


In a letter addressed to UPS project leader Nasvin del Rosario, she expressed her regrets for not attending the activity, in line with the BOPK policy that prohibits its candidates from attending any forum and debates with opponents.

“We also believe that an active discussion about advocacies is ideally presented to our constituents without having to be subjected to name-calling and mudslinging from fellow candidates, which only highlight personalities and tactics rather than core advocacies,” Cutie said.

Mayor Tomas Osmeña confirmed that they agreed on a policy that they would not participate in any candidates’ forum or debate with their opponents.

Osmeña had declined businessman Jonathan Guardo’s challenge to a debate. The two face each other in the south district congressional race.

“All the issues can be aired during the entire campaign period.

Besides, the other side needs BOPK to attend a forum to get attention because few attend their pulong-pulong. We will let our performance speak for themselves,” he said.

Doing the rounds

Cutie, daughter and chief of staff of Rep. Raul del Mar (Cebu City, north district), further said they have been doing the rounds as part of the party’s voter’s education initiatives.

Every night, BOPK allies visit different sitios for a forum and present themselves to the people to discuss social, political and economic issues that affect them, she said.

On her own, she also addresses sectoral groups, like business and professional organizations, the academe and civic groups.

In a press statement, del Rosario said that north district congressional candidates Ashley Acedillo and Lahug Barangay Captain Mary Ann de los Santos confirmed that they will be attending today’s forum at 1 p.m.

Organizers intend to maximize voter’s education on the poll automation, and to ask each candidate to make a presentation of their platform.