Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has no business being arrogant.

In turning down the invitation of “Jessica Soho Presidential Interviews” and calling its multi-awarded journalist host “biased,” the namesake and son of the late Philippine dictator proved that he is not ready for the arduous job that is the presidency.

In explaining the decision, Bongbong’s camp claimed Soho was “biased against the Marcoses.” Perhaps the son of the strongman is having traumatic flashbacks from how Soho rattled him in an interview a decade ago.

But such a petty reason is inexcusable. Bongbong may have become overly conceited after topping early presidential surveys. While getting interviewed in Soho’s program is not a requirement for the presidency, Bongbong’s excuse for refusing to be interviewed because of the TV journalist’s alleged bias is a mere pretext: he remains unwilling to own up to his family’s atrocious history and he seems to only care about polishing the Marcos name.

“The questions are tough because the job of the presidency is tough,” GMA Network said in refutation of the Bongbong camp’s statement. Indeed, there may be no tougher task than leading the country’s rise from the Covid-19 pandemic and ensuring the return of people’s lives to normal.

Bongbong could have used the airtime to discuss the plans he has for the country, apart from setting the record straight about all the controversies surrounding the Marcos family name.

After all, Junior has an unimpressive public service track record despite being in the politics game for decades.

He has no notable political achievements. Some of the “achievements” his supporters are touting are based on disinformation—that he authored Republic Act 9522 or the Philippine Archipelagic Baselines Law, that the Bangui windmills were his brainchild, and that his family-owned gold reserves could pull the Philippines out of its abysmal debt.

He has a questionable educational background, too. He did not finish college and was only awarded a “special diploma” by Oxford University, which the English school stressed, “was not a full graduate diploma.”

His popularity is all thanks to his famously infamous Marcos name. 

To Bongbong’s credit, evading grilling by journalists may prove to be a wise campaign move. Soho’s interview program was viewed over 7.5 million on YouTube, but the Marcos camp may be thinking that less is more when it comes to publicity and Bongbong’s 53-percent score in the December 2021 Pulse Asia presidential survey, which was 33 percentage points higher than second-placer Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo, is quite revealing.

But cowards should not be president. If Bongbong did not want to face Soho because of petty reasons, how will he, if elected president, face the Malacañang Press Corps? How will he face the nation? How will he fare as the chief architect of the country’s foreign affairs? How will he confront Beijing the bully? How will he handle criticism? In skipping what may be his first job interview for the presidency in the Soho program, the cowardice of Bongbong, who is used to getting everything on a silver platter, is obvious.

Hopefully, Filipinos will vote wisely in May.


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