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ROUGH CUTS | How did the seeming bias show?

Vic N. Sumalinog

MANY are still unable to do away from their minds the “Deep Probe: The Presidential Interview” organized and broadcast live over the Sonshine Media Network, International (SMNI) channel and radio stations last Saturday afternoon. We too, cannot help but praised the organizers for giving every attending Presidential candidate the same opportunity to expound on their platform of government if they be elected as the highest official of the land.

     Moreover, it was one Presidential interview conducted in a friendly atmosphere with each aspirant assured that the questions that will be asked of them were all focused on their governance platforms that they were asked to submit ahead to the organizers. Meaning, if the candidates really know their platforms by heart then they would not have any difficulty to explain to the panel of interrogators, to the audience, and to the multitude of Filipinos viewing the interview on television or hearing it on radio.  That is, if what we said was true, the candidates crafted their platforms together with their advisers or think-tank with their minds and heart in it.

     It is for this reason that we believe those who did not join the interview for the job of President missed out from what could be a wide opportunity for them to be better known by the voting public and possibly be accepted for the job of President of the Philippines.

     But of course we could not blame the “absentees” among the aspirants if they strongly believe that they cannot allow themselves to be thrown into the proverbial “lion’s den.” Yes, they have every right to reject the invitation for the interview for the simple reason that they believe the organizing network and its top management are biased in favor of a particular candidate because of the open endorsement by the network’s honorary chairman of that candidate, specifically Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Conversely, Marcos Jr. too, has invoked the same right and reason for not attending debates and interviews aired or hosted by stations and personalities he believed are biased against him. 

     Is the SMNI really biased in favor of Bongbong Marcos Jr.? If indeed it is, did it show during the last Presidential interview? As far as the behavior of the interviewing panel was concerned fairness was clearly evident.  The aspirants were given more than enough time to explain their platforms and how they can possibly attain all of them. The candidates were able to showcase their intelligence by expressing their answers in the most understandable manner and correctly anchored to what they have promised to do once they become President.

     We cannot however do away from our mind the accusation of the “absentee” Presidential aspirants of bias of the organizer of the interview when some indications of truth to the claims surfaced when Marcos Jr.’s time came. 

     Consider these things that transpired during BBM’s allotted slot. Unlike the first four candidates who walked solo towards the rostrum, Marcos Jr. was allowed to have himself “umbrellaed” with security officers all Men in Black (MIB). From what and from whom was candidate Marcos Jr. protected against by the MIB? All the while we believe that security inside the venue was well-taken care of by the organizing network.

     Then suddenly it came to our mind that the non-appearing Presidential candidates may be right in their allegations. The end-of-interview scenes inside the venue could not have been interpreted by them in another way but indications of bias by the network as a whole. Why? Had the network management been a little discreet it should not have allowed on camera the post interview interactions at the venue.

     We have actually no idea if it was with tacit approval of the higher executives of the network or simply just a failure to comply instructions by the staff working to execute the success of the program. But we still believe that allowing the interactions between candidate Marcos Jr. and those left inside the venue to be covered live on the boob tube is to the advantage of Marcos Jr. over the first four interviewees who had to immediately step down the podium to give way to the next candidate.

     On the whole the “Deep Probe: Presidential Interview” was indeed a deeply informative – even educational – exercise the outcome of which can be enough basis for the voters to make their learned, wisest and best choice, we cannot also blame those aspirants if they will raise their eyebrows even higher to manifest their conclusion of the organizing network’s bias toward the front running bet.

     We can only hope that the end-of-interview scenario was merely a failure of the staff to observe the desired neutrality and fairness and they did it on their own volition and not on specific management instruction.  

       For comments and/or reactions we can be reached through our e-mail address at: victorino.sumalinog@yahoo.com; Mobile No. 09392980435, or Landline at 2372169.

                                                    

 

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