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‘Unfortunate’: GMA reacts to Bongbong Marcos’ ‘biased’ claims vs Jessica Soho

Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo - Philstar.com
âUnfortunateâ: GMA reacts to Bongbong Marcosâ âbiasedâ claims vs Jessica Soho
Jessica Soho hosted the GMA special 'The Jessica Soho Presidential Interviews.'
GMA Network / Released

MANILA, Philippines — Media giant GMA Network defended its veteran broadcaster Jessica Soho for allegedly being biased at her recent special "The Jessica Soho Presidential Interviews."

In a press statement also sent to Philstar.com, GMA said it “takes exception” to the statement of the camp of former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. that said that the reason he declined to participate in Soho’s interviews was because the broadcaster was supposedly biased against the Marcoses.

GMA stood by Soho’s decades-old reputation as a fair and responsible journalist.

“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’,” GMA said.

“This 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.”

The network said that while it was “unfortunate” that Marcos declined the invitation to participate in Soho’s interviews, the journalist was still able to achieve her goal to uncover the agendas of the other presidential aspirants.

“It is unfortunate that Mr. Marcos has chosen to decline the invitation extended by the network to participate in ‘The Jessica Soho Presidential Interviews,’ even as four other aspirants — Sen. Panfilo Lacson, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, Sen. Manny Pacquiao, and Vice President Leni Robredo — have chosen to participate and take the opportunity to explain their advocacies to the public.”

In a statement, Marcos’ spokesperson Vic Rodriguez said they declined because they believed Soho’s questions “will just focus on negativity about BBM which the UniTeam dislike.”

Related: After skipping Jessica Soho interview, Marcos accuses award-winning journo of bias

GMA, however, clarified that Soho’s questions were “tough” because “the job of the presidency is tough.”

“In this must-see special, Ms. Soho boldly asks the presidential aspirants the questions that need to be asked – 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 questions are tough because the job of the presidency is tough.

“We believe that this is an important exercise to inform the public about the candidates seeking their votes in Eleksyon 2022, to help them make the best, most informed choice on their ballots.”

Lacson, in a Twitter post, defended Soho, saying that he, too, was asked tough questions but he understands that Soho was just 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,” he said.

In a Facebook post, Moreno highlighted one of Soho’s tough questions on him in a quote card.

“Ako po ay 23 taon nang naglilingkod sa pamahalaan, nagsimula po ako bilang konsehal ng Tondo noong 1998 hanggang sa maging Punong Lungsod ako noong 2019,” Moreno said in response to Soho’s question about his readiness and experience.

“Kalahati ng aking buhay ay nasa serbisyo publiko. Ako po ay nagsikap at nagpursigi para mabigyan ng magandang pamumuhay ang bawat Manileño.”

Also in Facebook, Robredo posted that she is always ready to answer to media interviews.

"Handa naman ako lagi humarap,” she replied to a DZRH request for an interview.

Pacquiao, on the other hand, has not posted anything yet about media interviews or Soho’s special. 
 

JESSICA SOHO

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