Opposition bet Nancy Binay would rather campaign first to ensure a seat in the Senate before she engages in any debate.
Binay, the daughter of Vice-President Jejomar Binay declined calls for her to argue with fellow senatorial candidate Risa Hontiveros, with whom she is being compared.
"As of the moment, it seems there is no time for the two of us to debate," reports quoted Binay as saying at the sidelines of a campaign sortie.
"Maybe if the two of us would be fortunate to win and join the Senate, we can debate there," she added.
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Hontiveros had earlier said she was open to a debate with Binay, amid social media taunts placing her credentials side-by-side that that of Binay's.
A former broadcaster and party-list representative for Akbayan, Hontiveros is now running for the Senate under the administration coalition Team PNoy.
Prior to running under the United Nationalist Alliance's Senate slate, meanwhile, Binay has served as personal assistant to her father and mother, former Makati Mayor Elenita Binay.
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Despite Binay's response, Hontiveros said her offer for a debate still stands, noting that it will "help voters make an informed choice this May elections."
Hontiveros noted, however, "it was a call for a debate, not a catfight," noting that it aimed to "elevate our conversation during the campaign period."
This, as she urged voters to help guard against "a contest of under-the-belt attacks, uncivil behavior, unethical, racist, or sexist banters."
Discrimination has no place in the Senate race, Hontiveros said, adding the candidates should judged according to their political beliefs and vision.
"I hope that Ms. Binay be accorded with full respect despite her refusal to heed the public's call for a public debate," she added.
The Philippines is to upgrade a navy base facing disputed South China Sea waters to serve the extra ships being acquired to protect its territory, the military said Thursday. Navy spokesman Lieutenant-Commander Gregory Fabic said the military would build a 500-million-peso ($11.2 million) port at Ulugan Bay, the Philippine military base nearest to the Spratly Islands. President Benigno Aquino is set to visit the base on May 20 to launch the upgrading, Fabic added. In recent years, the …