From election-related matters to past controversies, a lot of issues were unpacked in GMA Network’s “The Jessica Soho Presidential Interviews.” The three-hour program has been praised by a number of Filipinos for the topics that were discussed and how the veteran journalist uncovered the stand of four presidential hopefuls on issues that matter.
Aside from the reaction posts and funny memes, fellow journalists didn’t hesitate to give their two cents on the Jan. 22 show.
The Philippine STAR editor-in-chief Ana Pamintuan wrote in her column “Controlling the narrative” that it’s the first time she heard Soho being accused of “biased reporting,” emphasizing that it’s a “hint” of the “mainstream media environment under a Marcos administration.”
The camp of presidential hopeful Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said they declined the invite to participate in the show since the award-winning journalist is “biased against the Marcoses.”
Fellow broadcast journalist Karen Davila praised Soho for revealing the “true character” of presidential hopefuls Leni Robredo, Panfilo Lacson, Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, and Manny Pacquiao.
Reading Jessica Soho’s Pres Intrvws via @inquirerdotnet. KUDOS Maam Jess!
The questions centered on revealing the true character of the candidate. Kaya po mahalaga na mag-pa interview sa mga mamamahayag.
Mas mahirap po magpatakbo ng Pilipinas kaysa humarap sa mamamahayag ??— Karen Davila (@iamkarendavila) January 22, 2022
“Candidates must remember, when journalists ask ‘tough or hard’ questions, they are doing the public good. We don’t go home personally hating a candidate. Trabaho lang. The Presidency is no joke. The country & our children’s future is at stake,” Davila added.
Rappler journalist Mara Cepeda commended Soho and GMA Network’s team for asking the “really tough questions.”
Jessica Soho asking the really tough questions tonight. Hindi naman na ko nagulat. She is THE Jessica Soho for a reason, idol ng maraming journalists katulad ko. Matinik magtanong. Kudos also to the GMA team behind these presidential interviews. ??????— Mara Cepeda (@maracepeda) January 22, 2022
Meanwhile, GMA Network reporter Llanesca Panti said the three-hour interview is proof of why Soho is a “bloody brilliant journalist.”
Maam Jessica Soho is a bloody brilliant journalist, and that is why she is hosting the Presidential Interviews.— Llanesca T. Panti (@llanescajourno) January 22, 2022
Rappler reporter Lian Buan praised Soho and GMA Network’s team for the “great, incisive, well-researched questions, and excellent follow-ups.” She also described the three-hour interview as having a “bias for truth and facts,” which voters deserve.
Great, incisive, well-researched questions, and excellent follow ups and handling by Jessica Soho. This is truly a bias for truth, and for facts. Dasurv ng mga botante.— Lian Buan (@lianbuan) January 22, 2022
Award-winning journalist and News5 editor-at-large Manny Mogato said in a Facebook post that Soho’s “superb” interviews showed the “character and preparedness” of Robredo, Lacson, Moreno, and Pacquiao.
The journalist also gave his two cents on how the four presidential performed in the interviews. Mogato said while Lacson has a “track record, honesty, and competence,” he is “too stiff.” Meanwhile, he described Robredo as an “impressive” candidate who has a “clear roadmap on where the country will go.” However, the attacks of her rivals “have taken a great toll on her acceptance as a leader.”
On the other hand, Mogato said Moreno’s showbiz background is an “asset to capture the support of voters” despite his limited experience. Pacquiao was said to have “charisma as a sports hero,” however, no one “takes him seriously as a capable leader.”
The journalist added that Marcos declining GMA Network’s invitation is a missed “golden opportunity” to show how “good he is against his rivals.”
“[Marcos] was a legislator for 12 years and a local official for 15 years, the longest among aspirants but experience cannot be measured by the length of service if he has not done spectacular things in those times. He was an absentee local official and a credit grabber as a congressman. That is the public perception. His supporters see him differently because the images they saw were manufactured and a product of distorted history,” Mogato said.