In what is expected to be his most comprehensive discussion on the hostage tragedy, President Benigno Aquino III will face news anchors of three of the country’s biggest broadcast networks on Thursday for a “no-holds-barred” interview regarding the August 23 hostage tragedy in Manila.
The one-on-three encounter is highly unusual for a president. According to a Palace source, the idea came from Aquino himself.
In nine years in power, ex-President Gloria Arroyo only faced journalists one-on-one, and rarely at that, or in larger groups.
Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda on Wednesday told Palace reporters that the panel of journalists from GMA Network, ABS-CBN, and TV 5 would zero in on what Aquino was doing during the 11-hour hostage crisis.
Lacierda said they expect either Mike Enriquez or Mel Tiangco from GMA Network, Ted Failon from ABS-CBN, and Paolo Bediones from TV 5 to compose the panel.
The Manila Bulletin quoted Edwin Lacierda:
“the interview is meant to settle all the questions on live broadcast on the involvement of the President in the hostage drama.”
A President that engages. About time.