Pia Hontiveros interviews P-Noy

/ 04:35 AM May 27, 2016
PIA Hontiveros’  one-on-one interview with President Aquino (left) on CNN Philippines.    screen grab from CNN Philippines

PIA Hontiveros’ one-on-one interview with President Aquino (left) on CNN Philippines. screen grab from CNN Philippines

For the past month, many TV programs have tried to enlighten viewer-voters on the choices and stakes involved in the polls held last May 9.

A number of primers were researched, produced and telecast, and major presidential and vice presidential debates grabbed the attention and involvement of the viewing populace.


Looking back on this montage of efforts to help make voters come up with the best and most informed decisions, which particular show stands out?

In our considered view, the most insightful production was also one of the “smallest”—Pia Hontiveros’ one-on-one interview of President Aquino on CNN Philippines.


It just goes to show that “big” production values and an all-star cast of contentious candidates aren’t needed to come up with a significant and significantly telling viewing experience.

In fact, the “One-on-one with the President” show appeared to have been taped on the run or on the fly, perhaps during a breather in a provincial political sortie.

Both Pia and P-Noy looked rather “rumpled”—but that was completely irrelevant, because they were in top form and open to the exclusive interview’s many significant possibilities.

What made the hour-long interview especially insightful and valuable was their shared readiness to use it as an opportunity for viewers to appreciate and understand the Chief Executive’s thoughts and feelings at the end of his eventful and occasionally even tumultuous six-year term.

The interviewee obviously trusted the TV program host, who in turn asked some really tough and potentially controversial questions—but knew when to, out of respect, leave well enough alone.

Some other interviewers could have less judiciously pushed the “controversial” card to personal advantage—or, at the other extreme, been so ingratiatingly obsequious that only “fatherhood” statements would have been forthcoming.

Pia and P-Noy avoided those two extremes and were instead candid and forthcoming, hence the insightful importance of their one-on-one pre-May 9 session as a summation of six years of Aquino’s governance that have helped transform the nation and its prospects.


Pia “dared” to ask the President for his take on critiques related to his perceived “lack of feeling-for,” the persistence of nagging problems like traffic and poor connectivity, controversial handling of disasters, armed conflicts and stand-offs, etc.

In turn, P-Noy replied from the heart, not to exonerate himself, but to offer shared and experiential insights into the awesomely complicated task of national governance.

And the viewer felt fortunate to be able to listen in.

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TAGS: Benigno Aquino III, CNN Philippines, Elections 2016, Pia Hontiveros, President Aquino
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