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ROUGH CUTS | Their ‘Deep Probe’ performance

Vic N. Sumalinog

LAST Saturday’s “Deep Probe: The Presidential Interview” initiated by the Sonshine Media Network, Int’l. was again a departure from the usual kind of interviews normally conducted by similar kinds of interactions with hosts, interviewers or panel are media personalities.
Yes, it was one conducted in a much lighter banter and the questions were focused on how the candidate proposed to accomplish his commitment to the Filipino people as presented in his governance platforms they submitted to the organizers. Last Saturday’s Deep Probe interview was conducted by a panel composed of 2 from the academe, one from the upper echelon of the media business (Publisher), and one from the law profession with connection in the telecommunications industry.
The interview was good for one hour for each candidate and was without the bombast expected by many partisan supporters.
And true to expectation the questions were indeed probing deeply into the capability of the candidates to make good their commitment and their ability to explain their platforms in the most comprehensible term. It was indeed very informative and had educated us some more on the history that leads to the evolution of the present-day issues and problems that are confronting the country and our government.
Candidate Leody de Guzman for example narrated how he arrived at the decision that the forthcoming election is the time for him to run because according to him he has led the Filipino workers’ struggle to get a fair deal by government and the big employers for their demands for just wages and benefits for the last 30 years. Yet, he said, nobody seems to care for the working class’ appeal. Ka Leody was frank in admitting that he is against big businesses but said he is willing to encourage the labor sector to work with them with all its expertise and loyalty for as long as they are treated by these big employers as “partners” in their endeavor.
But what is prevailing now is that big businesses are instead adopting the labor contracting scheme resulting in the continuous insecurity of the worker’s tenure.
Then we were amazed at the articulateness of former Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales in explaining his desire to change the country’s political system and even the more radical proposal of reinforcing the Filipino culture and making it one vehicle in strengthening our relations with other countries.
In the case of candidate Doctor and Lawyer Jose Montemayor we were initially appreciative but stunned by his guts bordering to braggadocio in saying that if he were President at the time that a Chinese warship intruded into the Philippines’ territorial waters somewhere in Sulu, he would have ordered to fire at the ship. But our appreciation was stymied when the candidate balked at the question of one of the panelists if he will do the same if it were a US warship intruding. Montemayor stammered in trying to search for a better justification for his negative answer.
On the other hand, Davaoeño Ernesto Abella was equally articulate as Gonzales when he insisted on his idea to tap civil societies in the country to serve as watchdogs and to further organized them into cooperatives and similar organizations to help implement government programs and projects.
Abella was also clear in presenting his proposed methodologies in transforming agriculture in the Philippines from just the tilling of lands and planting crops into several major industries that would lead to the creation of jobs for the Filipinos.
Last but definitely not the least was candidate Bongbong Marcos Jr. who was clearly awaited by a largely partisan audience.
Of course, his savvy in answering the deeply probing questions of the panel members was immediately noticeable. We were of course more animated with his thoughts on the country’s power situation and on the possibility of operating the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) to fill in the gap and to generate less costly electricity in the country.
Marcos Jr. even went into discussing the baseload which is the power requirement needed at any time of the day to operate industries, businesses, and supply households. The candidate appeared to be supportive of the idea of reviving the BNPP by infusing new technologies to address safety concerns.
He too was seemingly conversant with the Energy and Power Industry Reform Act or EPIRA and agreed on the need to revisit the law that is seen as the “culprit” in the current degenerative power industry situation.
On the whole, we find the Deep Probe to be more incisive and worth the people’s time instead of those interviews and debates conducted by other organizers that to us only expand the divide among the people and even stoked the fire to the candidates and their avid supporters.
We would say that the non-participating Presidential candidate, because of their perception of bias of the Deep Probe organizers, missed one big single opportunity to expound on their platforms. Sayang.
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