MANILA, Jan 22 (Mabuhay) — Presidential aspirant and former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. opted not to be interviewed by Jessica Soho as his campaign perceives the multi award-winning veteran journalist to be “biased against the Marcoses.”
“We believe her questions will just focus on negativity about BBM which the UniTeam dislike,” said Marcos’ spokesperson Vic Rodriguez in a statement.
But in a statement, Soho’s home network GMA said aspirants must expect tough questions from the journalist.
“The questions are tough because the job of the presidency is tough,” GMA Network said.
It added that it “takes exception” to the Marcos campaign’s attack on Soho’s credibility, when she “has consistently been named the most trusted media personality in the Philippines by both local and foreign organizations.”
Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who was among the presidential aspirants interviewed by Soho, came to the journalist’s defense on Twitter, saying he does not think she is 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,” Lacson said. “Like any journalist, that’s her job.”
While he shunned an interview with Soho, Marcos has accepted to sit down with talkshow host Boy Abunda for an interview that will be aired on ABS-CBN next week.
Rodriguez said that discussions related to the elections must focus on how aspiring presidents could help the country recover from the problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said that while it is important for presidential aspirants to present their programs and plans for the country, the Marcos campaign would rather communicate “direct to the people” through other means where they can “present their visions, plans and platforms freely, unfiltered and unhindered by any biases.”
Marcos’ spokesperson also dismissed criticism of the presidential aspirant that he chickened out of an interview with Soho.
“An aspirant‘s preparedness to lead, ability to govern and capability to be president cannot be tested by his mere appearance on a show that has been perceived by us and our supporters as having previously displayed a preconceived judgement against the Marcoses,” Rodriguez said.
Marcos was among the five presidential candidates invited to sit down with Soho for an interview on “their intentions behind running for the position, the controversies thrown at them, their stand on pressing issues and their concrete plans should they be elected.”
The son and namesake of the late dictator declined, but everyone else — Vice President Leni Robredo, Sens. Panfilo Lacson and Manny Pacquiao, and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno — accepted the invitation. (MNS)