Marcos camp calls Jessica Soho 'biased', GMA hits back

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TO GO WITH AFP STORY
FILE PHOTO: Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jnr, son of the late president Ferdinand Marcos, gestures during an interview with AFP in Manila on May 19, 2010. His name was poison not long ago but Marcos Jnr says he could one day be president of the Philippines after elections showed him to be one of the nation's most popular politicians. (Photo: TED ALJIBE/AFP via Getty Images)

After failing to appear in the interviews hosted by GMA Network’s Jessica Soho, Marcos spokesperson Atty. Vic Rodriguez said that award-winning journalist Jessica Soho was “biased against the Marcoses.”

“The reason why Bongbong Marcos decided not to join the Jessica Soho show is founded on our belief that the hostess of [the] said popular talk show is biased against the Marcoses,” he said.

The Marcos camp thinks that Soho will focus on “negativity about BBM”.

“We believe her questions will just focus on negativity about BBM which the UniTeam dislike and will not subscribe as it hopes that the discourse in any forum about this upcoming elections must focus on how the aspiring presidents will solve our country’s lingering problems caused by the Covid19 pandemic and what their plans are for our country to roll up from economic stagnation.”

Responding to Rodriguez, GMA Public Affairs issued a statement defending Soho.

“Throughout her career, Ms. Soho has consistently been named the most trusted media personality in the Philippines by both local and foreign organizations, a testament to her embodying the GMA News and Public Affairs ethos: “Walang Kinikilingan, Walang Prinoprotektahan, Serbisyong Totoo Lamang (Nothing is Favored, Nothing is Protected, Just True Service),” they said.

Going further, the organization cited how the network is considered “the most trusted media organization in the Philippines.”

“The same ethos has guided Ms. Soho and the whole GMA News and Public Affairs organization, which is the most trusted media organization in the Philippines, according to the University of Oxford/Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.”

GMA went on by saying that the four other leading aspirants – Vice President Leni Robredo, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, Sen. Manny Pacquiao, and Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno – answered questions on controversies thrown at them, and that the questions “are tough because the job of the presidency is tough.”

Rodriguez mentioned how Marcos Jr.’s “duty is to the Filipino people and not to a particular tv show or program host. We will continue with our way of communicating direct to the people in so many equally significant shows, platforms and forums where all the attendees are allowed to present their visions, plans and platforms freely, unfiltered and unhindered by any biases.”

However, the presence of the dictator’s son is expected in an interview by Boy Abunda, host of the now-hiatus TONIGHT with Boy Abunda – a talk show and commentary program where Abunda talks about developments in showbiz and social media.

“Ghoster president”

Kabataan Party-list 1st Nominee and National President Raoul Manuel was alarmed by Marcos’ absence in GMA’s interview.

"Red flag ito. Toxic behavior spotted. Ghoster na presidente? Di natin deserve yun. Kung sa simpleng interview ay di siya makaharap sa publiko, paano niya papanindigan ang bansa at mga pangako niya kung umupo sa pwesto?" he asks.

(This is a red flag. Toxic behavior spotted. A ghoster president? We don’t deserve that. If he can’t show up for a simple interview and he can’t face the public, how will he serve the country and fulfill his promises with conviction should he be elected president?)

Bumoto tayo ng kandidato na hindi laging missing-in-action lalo ngayong panahon ng krisis (Let us vote for a candidate who won’t go missing-in-action especially now in this time of crisis),” Manuel said.

Mark Ernest Famatigan is a news writer who focuses on Philippine politics. He is an advocate for press freedom and regularly follows developments in the Philippine economy. The views expressed are his own.

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