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Marcos aide: No intention to exclude anyone from exclusive interview

Xave Gregorio - Philstar.com
Marcos aide: No intention to exclude anyone from exclusive interview
President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s chief-of-staff Vic Rodriguez holds a press conference on May 26, 2022.
Screenshot from Atty. Vic Rodriguez Facebook livestream

MANILA, Philippines — President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s chief-of-staff said Thursday that they had not intended to exclude news outlets from his first press interview after his proclamation that included just three TV networks.

Lawyer Vic Rodriguez, who has been designated by Marcos as his executive secretary, explained in a separate briefing that GMA, NET25 and SMNI had asked during the campaign for one-on-one interviews with the president-elect should he win the race.

NET25 is owned by Christian sect Iglesia ni Cristo, whose leadership told their flock to vote for Marcos and for Vice President-elect Sara Duterte. SMNI, meanwhile, is owned by fugitive preacher Apollo Quiboloy, who also endorsed Marcos and Duterte.

"This was the commitment given by our media team during the campaign to these three networks," Rodriguez said in Filipino. "It doesn’t mean that we intend or we intended to exclude anyone."

Rodriguez said the interview was with three networks instead of one-on-one as they "wanted to be fair."

During the briefing, Marcos announced a barrage of appointments to his incoming Cabinet and addressed some issues involving fiscal policy and foreign affairs. He was not asked about his family's ill-gotten wealth, human rights violations under his father's brutal martial rule, pending court cases involving their family and their unpaid P203 billion in estate taxes

RELATED: Who's who: The Marcos Cabinet

Extension of campaign

The exclusion of some media outlets from briefings by the Marcos camp is not exactly new as they have done this to some reporters who covered the campaign where they told a select group of journalists about a presser while they kept others unaware.

"The selectivity may be an extension of the campaign," said Professor Aries Arugay who teaches political science at the University of the Philippines said in an interview shared with reporters. "The real test is whether they can keep this up once he has already taken his oath of office and he is already leading the government. If they keep this up, this will really have negative repercussions."

Rodriguez, on his last day as spokesperson, thanked journalists who covered the Marcos campaign, pleaded for understanding and apologized for "the way we have responded in the past." He did not entertain any further questions after making this statement.

There were no explicit commitments from Rodriguez that they would no longer cherry pick journalists who would cover their briefings, although designated press secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles announced that they would hold at least two pressers a week.

2022 ELECTIONS

FERDINAND MARCOS JR.

SMNI

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