A news anchor of an AM radio station confirmed that Vice President Leni Robredo will be joining the interview of 2022 presidential candidates amid claims about her initial rejection of the interview invite.
Cesar Chavez tweeted that the vice president and presidential aspirant will join the “Bakit Ikaw? Presidential Job Interviews,” a special program sponsored by Manila Broadcasting Company’s DZRH and The Manila Times, on February 2 from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
According to a Facebook post of professor and Manila Times columnist Antonio Contreras, the interviews will be conducted live and on a one-on-one basis.
“Salamat po VP Leni. Sana makalahok din pati si Mayor Isko sa susunod na linggo,” Chavez tweeted.
The confirmation came after Robredo on Sunday said that she was open to joining the radio interview “next week.”
“Ang totoo: I was invited to an interview with DZRH, initially set earlier this month. Ipapasok na sana sa schedule ko, but we were later told it was moved. ‘Yung bagong sched nila was already in conflict with ours, as I had other commitments lined up,” she tweeted on January 23.
“Actually, puwede ako next week. Kung willing sila to adjust, i-set na natin. Handa naman ako lagi humarap,” Robredo added in a quote tweet on the same day.
Her spokesperson, lawyer Barry Gutierrez, affirmed the vice president’s attendance in a separate tweet.
“O ‘yan, daling kausap ni VP Leni ‘di ba? Walang pabebe, handa agad humarap,” he wrote.
Robredo’s tweets addressed critics who questioned her for initially declining the upcoming live interview.
Contreras on Sunday shared that four presidential bets will appear on the radio interview of which he is among the panelists.
Other panelists are DZRH radio anchors Gerry Baja, Deo Macalma and Angelo Palmones.
Contreras said that presidential bets former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr, labor leader Leody de Guzman and Senators Panfilo “Ping” Lacson and Manny Pacquiao were the only ones who confirmed of joining the live interview.
“Isko Moreno has yet to confirm. Leni Robredo declined,” the columnist said on Facebook.
Some of Robredo’s critics then accused her of being a “coward” for not joining the interview.
In response to this, some of the vice president’s supporters called out Contreras for his post and recalled his supposed “bias” against her.
The columnist in another post clarified that he “only posted the fact that Leni declined to explain her absence in the name of the participants.”
“It was not my business to ask the reasons why people decline invitations, that is why I didn’t ask DZRH. I just took it as is, knowing that it is her right to decline,” Contreras said.
“I have never denied that I am a critic of Leni Robredo. But I dare anyone to present me any proof that I personally attack her character and launch ad hominem vitriol against her the same way my critics are now savaging me,” he added.
Contreras added that he welcomes Robredo’s “change of mind” and that he is looking forward to their encounter which can “contribute to the political discourse and enable voters to make informed decisions in the May 2022 elections.”
Chavez in another post said that the presidential interviews were moved to a later date.
According to him, almost all of their TV technician, cameraman and news center personnel caught COVID-19 during the first two weeks of January.
Robredo recently participated in the GMA News’ “Jessica Soho Presidential Interviews” where she, along three other presidential hopefuls Lacson, Moreno and Pacquiao, were asked about their bids, controversies they are facing, and the biggest issues in the country.
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According to the Kapuso network, only leading candidates were invited to join the presidential interviews.
De Guzman was not included in the lineup, while Marcos didn’t attend as his camp believes that Soho was “biased against the Marcoses.”
Soho’s network responded that presidential bets must expect tough questions from the journalist as “the job of the presidency is tough.”