Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

Aussie anchor who interrogated Marcos said staff tried to stop interview

Dwight de Leon

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Aussie anchor who interrogated Marcos said staff tried to stop interview

SPILLING THE BEANS. Australian broadcast journalist Sarah Ferguson discusses what went on behind the scenes of her interview with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in a TikTok video released on March 19, 2024.

Screenshot from ABC News; Graphics by Marian Hukom/Rappler

'I'm just trying to get to the end so I can land a 'Thank you for talking to 7.30,' when at that stage, I know he's wishing that he hadn't,' ABC news anchor Sarah Ferguson says of President Marcos

An Australian news program’s interview with Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. – one which saw him get questioned about his family’s plunder – immediately went viral on social media upon its release

Behind the scenes, that March 4 interview was reportedly a tense moment, especially for the President’s staff, who may have been blindsided by the line of questioning.

In a TikTok video released on Tuesday, March 19, Sarah Ferguson, presenter of ABC news program 7.30, spilled the beans on the visibly tough moment for the President.

She said she planned to divide the interview into two parts. The first one was about the Philippines’ relationship with China, as Marcos was in Melbourne at the time for the summit between Ausralia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), where he raised the issue of escalating tensions in the South China Sea.

The second segment of the conversation, Ferguson said, was always intended to be about his family’s scandalous past.

“From the moment I mentioned his father, the minders, first of all, start to move. They start to talk amongst themselves. Then they start talking to the producer, trying to get her to shut the interview down,” she said. (We have asked the Presidential Communications Office through the Malacañang Press Corps about Ferguson’s claim, and we will update this story once we get their reply.)

In that interview, Ferguson did not skip a beat, confronting Marcos about his family’s ill-gotten wealth that had yet to be recovered by the government.

Marcos, visibly flustered by the question, let out a nervous laughter, to which Ferguson responded back with, “May I just ask you why that’s funny?”

“As the questions go on, they start moving closer towards Marcos and [me]. They are standing just behind his chair and I want to push on to ask him what his responsibility is, what his relationship is to what his father did and his acceptance of that and what it means to him as president. But I’m doing that in this extraordinary space where the temperature in the room has, depending on how you see it, has either gone right up high or way down low,” Ferguson recalled in that TikTok video.

The President, after a series of stutters, said his family had supposedly signed quitclaims that gave up their claims to assets that the government had found.

He also dismissed as “propaganda” past findings that hold them accountable for their stolen wealth.

The family’s greed is well-documented, though. As of 2021, the government has retrieved P174 billion in ill-gotten wealth from the Marcoses, and is going after P125 billion more.

Aussie anchor who interrogated Marcos said staff tried to stop interview

In Ferguson’s view, the Philippine president regretted saying yes to the interview.

“I’m just trying to get to the end so I can land a ‘Thank you for talking to 7.30,’ when at that stage, I know he’s wishing that he hadn’t.” – Rappler.com

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Dwight de Leon

Dwight de Leon is a multimedia reporter who covers President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the Malacañang, and the Commission on Elections for Rappler.