MANILA - Malacañang defended President Aquino's interview with Vice Ganda, which saw the President assess some Cabinet members, sing a song and even reveal that TV host Grace Lee was his girlfriend.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the interview, which aired on "Gandang Gabi Vice" on Sunday, showed the “lighter side” of the President and made the people understand the “burdens” of the presidency.
“It trended number one and we saw from the comments that most of the comments were positive. It showed the lighter side of the President,” Lacierda said.
“Vice Ganda brought [out] the lighter side of the President and it was positive and I think people came to empathize with the President on the daily routine, on the burdens of government. I certainly hope that it showed the President, after all, is not always serious.”
Lacierda also dismissed criticisms against Aquino’s comments about suspended Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima whom the President described as an old friend. "Let’s have the process proceed its natural course,” Lacierda said.
In his interview, Aquino again praised Purisima for doing his work effectively and without complaint amid allegations that he has ill-gotten wealth.
“’Yung 'pag may imahen tayong negatibo sa kapulisan, hindi iyun ang nakilala ko sa pagkatao nitong si Alan.... Ang dami niyang pinaghinuhuli at wala siyang sinasanto. Marami siyang kabaro na ngayon ay humaharap ng pagsakdal o nakulong dahil mali ang ginawa," Aquino said.
The Office of the Ombudsman earlier ordered Purisima and several other police officers suspended for six months in connection with the alleged anomalous gun license delivery deal with a private company in 2011.