Jessica Soho’s ‘Presidential Interviews’ raises standards of presidential interviews – De Lima


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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima heaped praises on the GMA Network’s “The Jessica Soho Presidential Interviews” for raising the standards of presidential interviews to new heights with the program’s excellent execution.

De Lima lauded Soho, who hosted the three-hour program that aired last Jan. 22, for asking “tough, thoughtful and well-researched” questions that allowed candidates to present themselves and their platform to the public.

“The Jessica Soho Presidential Interview was real journalism at its best! It elevated the level of discourse on national issues to professional ground, away from personalities and down to the urgent issues and core substance. It set the tone and raised the standards of presidential interviews to new heights that will benefit all of us,” she said.

“Kudos to Ms. Jessica Soho for asking sharp and pointed questions and handling the entire interview with gravitas and fairness. They have covered such a diverse range of crucial national issues that can enlighten the voters on why we need to elect a competent, sincere and principled president come May 9,” she added.

“The Jessica Soho Presidential Interviews” featured the 2022 presidential aspirants, including Vice President Leni Robredo, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso and Sen. Manny Pacquiao.

The candidates went through four rounds of questions in a one-on-one style interview, which followed a strict format wherein they were timed for their answers and they picked via draw lots who would go first.

The lady Senator from Bicol also lauded the presidential candidates who joined the program in showing courage in answering the tough questions on national TV.

“Our country deserves a leader who is not afraid of anyone, much less journalists, because he/she will be asked to defend our country against all threats. Cowardice is unbecoming of a President,” she said.

De Lima said Lacson “displayed his extensive experience in public service.” Moreno and Pacquiao, she continued, exuded great energy and displayed sincerity, through their respective answers.

De Lima reserved her best compliments to Robredo, whom, she said, was a paragon of integrity and the interview showed that there is nothing but superficial criticisms that can be hurled against her.

“I congratulate VP Leni for her sterling performance in that interview. I so admire how she thrives even more under pressure and in high-tension situations. Her voice is so full of conviction, sincerity and eloquence. She truly inspires confidence and trust,” she said.

Hindi lamang niya sinagot ang mga pragmatic questions on governance, kundi pati leadership values na dapat maibalik sa gobyerno at ang tunay na depinisyon ng katapangan bilang isang tao at isang pinuno,” she added.

With more of this type of presidential interviews, De Lima believes that the country can counter fake news and disinformation, as well as demolish the fake news peddlers.

“This was a good opportunity for our voters to meet the candidates. We need more of these quality interviews which test the Presidential candidates and allow our people the opportunity to watch them speak for themselves and not just through spokespersons,” she said.

Ultimately, De Lima maintained that a weak presidential candidate can’t stand any gut-wrenching and unbiased interview because televised interviews and debates can expose the incompetent, the unprincipled, and the chronic liar.

Kung simpleng pagpapa-interview lang sa media, kinatatakutan na, paano pa nila ipaglalaban ang ating bayan sa harap ng mga makakapangyarihang lider ng ibang bansa?” she added.

It can be noted that Presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. skipped the show because his team said that Soho is “biased against the Marcoses.” In defense, GMA Network said, “the questions are tough because the job of the presidency is tough.” (30)

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