The trouble with that Toni Gonzaga interview
The problem with that Toni Gonzaga interview is that it veered dangerously into ignorant political talk. Some days, one can get away with lack of preparation or even the lack of basic knowledge about what one is talking about, but not when attempting to dive into subjects of such enormous significance to our national life that they would agitate sensibilities.
Gonzaga’s interview was offensive not only in the very patronizing way it was conducted, but also in its timing—around the time of the anniversary of martial law.
Desperate to avoid jail time and, quite possibly, the ultimate humiliation of being tried for genocide before the International Criminal Court, President Duterte is desperate to have an alter ego take his place when he leaves, which plays right into Bongbong Marcos’ obsessive ambition. If he wins the election by whatever means, Marcos can make official his claim that his father did no wrong and proceed with the revisionist history that the Marcoses and their partisans have been tirelessly peddling to replace the truth.
The interview basically sold that storyline, with tearjerking anecdotes by Marcos about his family’s alleged struggles after his father was thrown out of Malacañang, Gonzaga unabashedly heightened the drama with cringe-worthy questions. She didn’t even blink when told that the ill-gotten wealth and the high crimes attributed to the Marcos dictatorship were supposedly all “lies” fabricated by Marcos enemies. Rather than call his attention and present Marcos with facts that have long been proven true, Gonzaga went along with her guest’s delusional rants.
This is all part of freedom of speech, of course. But that defense becomes richly ironic when one also recalls how Marcos’ dictator-father threw people in jail and harassed media because of his unrelenting disdain for that freedom—a tradition that’s been resurrected in the time of Mr. Duterte.
So please, spare us the freedom of speech invocation and all such platitudes when it comes to this TV interview. Freedom of speech is not about boot-licking and advertising the agenda of those who did wrong. Freedom of speech is about speaking against the wrongdoer whatever the cost or consequences. People have died and gone to prison for freedom of speech. What Gonzaga did was to help sanitize the Marcos image while vlogging her way to a gold mine of easy money.
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