ICYMI: Presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. — ex-senator and child of ex-Martial Law dictator Ferdinand Marcos — decided to skip “The Jessica Soho Presidential Interviews” by multi-awarded broadcast journalist Jessica Soho on GMA News, leading to the rise of #MarcosDuwag that topped Twitter trends today.
After Marcos Jr.’s camp released a statement calling Soho “biased” against the Marcos family and said her questions would “just focus on negativity,” GMA Network, GMA News’ mother network, hit back with a strongly-worded statement.
“GMA Network takes exception to the statement of the camp of former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. that Kapuso news pillar Jessica Soho is supposedly biased against the Marcoses, the reason for the presidential candidate to decline participation on ‘The Jessica Soho Presidential Interviews’,” the Kapuso network wrote.
GMA Network, currently the Philippines’ largest free-to-air network after rival ABS-CBN was refused a license to operate in 2020, defended Soho’s integrity and reputation as a veteran broadcaster.
“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 Pinoprotektahan, Serbisyong Totoo Lamang’ (No biases, no protections, only genuine service).
The network also said that it was “unfortunate” that Marcos “chose to decline the invitation by the network to participate (in the interviews), even as four other aspirants — senator Panfilo Lacson, Manila mayor Isko Moreno, senator Manny Pacquiao, and vice president Leni Robredo — have chosen to participate and explain their advocacies to the public.”
The Kapuso network added that in their “must-see” special, Soho “boldly asks the questions that need to be asked,” such as their intentions behind running for the position, the controversies thrown at them, and their stand on pressing issues and concrete plans, ending with a mic drop-worthy statement: “The questions are tough because the job of the presidency is tough.”
Earlier today, Marcos’ spokesperson Vic Rodriguez released a statement hitting Soho, who said that her questions would “focus on the negative” in relation to 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, and therefore, we believe her questions will just focus on the negativity about (Marcos) which the UniTeam dislike,” the statement read, referring to the tandem of Marcos and Davao City mayor Sara Duterte, his running mate in the 2022 polls.
“(The UniTeam) will not subscribe as it hopes the discourse must focus on how the aspiring presidents will solve our country’s lingering problems caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and what their plans are for our country to roll up from economic stagnation.”
Meanwhile, even senator and presidential bet Ping Lacson defended Soho against the “biased” labeling, saying that the veteran journalist was merely doing her job.
Jessica Soho, biased? I was asked very hostile questions like my role during martial law, why I evaded arrest in 2010, my co-authorhip and sponsorship of the Anti-Terror Law, human rights issues and other hard questions. I don’t think so. Like any journalist, trabaho niya yun.
— PING LACSON (@iampinglacson) January 22, 2022