Media perversion? Palace defends Aquino's Vice Ganda interview

MANILA, Philippines – It was never meant to be a serious interview.

Malacañang on Monday, January 5, defended President Benigno Aquino III’s guesting at Gandang Gabi Vice with comedian Vice Ganda, which aired on ABS-CBN on Sunday, January 4. Topics of the interview ranged from Aquino's relationship status to topics like his thinning hair, his celebrity sister, and his opinions on public figures.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda defended the decision of the President to agree to the interview, saying it showed a “lighter side” of the country’s leader. (READ: 10 random things we learned from the PNoy-Vice Ganda interview)

“It was not meant to be a serious interview. It was positive. People came to empathize with the President,” he said. (READ: PNoy confirms relationship status in Vice Ganda interview)

Some Filipinos expressed their disapproval, however. But Lacierda said: “I’m not sure I can agree in terms of the negative comments.”

Lacierda said most of the comments online were positive, with the interview even trending on Twitter. Regarding negative comments on Aquino’s continued defense of his good friend, embattled police chief Alan Purisima, Lacierda only said the suspended top cop has the right to due process.

Comments on Rappler’s articles on the interview were mixed.

“This is a disgrace to the Office of the the President, and an endorsement of media perversion. This is so world-class shameful act. Ang babaw sa kabakyaan,” said user Luis.

Another comment from Nor Estudillo said, “President interviewed by Vice Ganda is a farce, a show time for low brow audiences. A President should be interviewed by the likes of Katie Couric. For the Philippines something by the likes of Jessica Soho or someone in that level with integrity.”

But other readers enjoyed the episode.

Commenter shaggydelic66 said: “This proves that the president is just like us, inspite of being the serious in his job, he also laughs, he plays around, has his regular funny side, he kids around, he also plays despite hectic work to unwind just like common man and yet at the end of the day wants to settle down, have his own kids, appreciate the human emotional drama of loving kids and having to fall in love.”

Mary Grace Torreverde agreed, saying, “The president is very cool.”