The recent actions and pronouncements of the camp of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. could offer a glimpse if ever he wins the presidency on election day, May 9, 2022.
First, he declined to take part in the presidential interviews conducted by seasoned broadcast journalist Jessica Soho of GMA 7. The former senator’s camp later stated the reason: His non-participation was “founded on their belief” that Soho “is biased against the Marcoses.” The Marcos camp believes the broadcaster “will just focus on negativity” about the presidential aspirant.
GMA 7 hits back, saying “the questions” thrown at the presidential candidates are “tough because the job of the presidency is tough.”
Presidential candidates who took part in the interviews were Senators Panfilo “Ping” Lacson and Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno Domagoso, and Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo. Labor leader Leody de Guzman said he was not invited to the program that was aired on Saturday night, Jan. 22.
Lacson criticized Marcos for not participating, saying it is Soho’s job to ask hard-as-nails questions. He himself, he said, was asked about his past controversies, including his being the author of the Anti-Terror Law and evasion of arrest in 2010.
Refusing to take part in Soho’s TV presidential interviews could be a tactic from Marcos’ camp. As he sits atop the surveys less than four months from the election day, Marcos probably would not risk answering hard-nosed questions from Soho as it could hurt his chances of winning the presidency, which was once held by his father Ferdinand Sr. for nearly 21 years before the Marcos kleptocracy was ended by the People Power Revolution in February 1986.
Now, if Marcos ever becomes the President, would he listen to the plight of the Filipinos? Would he answer questions from the ordinary folk if he wins the highest elective position in the Philippines?
Being selective of media personalities does not leave a good impression. A leader must answer all difficult questions, doubts and criticisms from his people.
In another issue, Agence France-Presse reported that Twitter had suspended over 300 accounts reportedly linked to Marcos for violating its rules on manipulation and spam. The social networking site said it had reviewed local news site Rappler’s report on accounts and hashtags linked to Marcos.
“With the Philippine elections taking place this May, we remain vigilant about identifying and eliminating suspected information campaigns targeting election conversations,” Twitter said.
The Marcos camp clapped back. His spokesman Victor Rodriguez warned Twitter against Rappler, which, he said, uses its site to advance a certain presidential aspirant’s agenda “by using a disinformation network to take down what it alleged as a disinformation network.”
Rodriguez said there is no evidence that all of the suspended accounts belong to the BBM supporters.
This seems to be the Marcos playbook: Defend, defend and defend; attack, attack and attack.
Editorial Cartoon by John Gilbert Manantan
January 24, 2022
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