News anchor Karen Davila gets hate for grilling Manny Pacquiao about college degree 

Screenshot: ABS-CBN News YouTube channel.
Screenshot: ABS-CBN News YouTube channel.

News anchor Karen Davila is getting more than a little hate from Filipino netizens after pushing Senator-boxing star Manny Pacquiao on his evasive answers about his college degree, or lack thereof.

The questioning, which is now a trending topic on Philippine Twitter, happened during yesterday’s episode of the ANC show Headstart where Pacquaio was a guest. Davila asked Pacquiao if he agrees that senators and presidents should have college degrees, to which he said yes.

Davila pointed out that if a college degree becomes a requirement, Pacquiao may not qualify.

Pacquiao was a high school dropout but passed a high school equivalency exam in 2007. He enrolled in a business program at the Notre Dame of Dadiangas University in General Santos City but currently does not have a  college degree.

The  Philippine constitution only requires that senators and presidents be able to read and write.

In the interview, Pacquiao replies that he’s actually pursuing a college degree right now, so as any journalist would do, Davila asked follow-up questions. She asked where Pacquiao was studying but he did not specify a school.

Instead, he said in Filipino: “The most important thing is you know the situation of the country’s problems.”

The news anchor brought back the conversation to the big news Pacquiao just shared, which led to a pretty awkward conversation that went like this:

Davila: Pero teka lang, tinatapos mo ba ang college degree ngayon o hindi? (But wait, are you currently finishing your college degree or not?)

Pacquiao: Tinatapos. ([I’m] finishing it.)

Davila: Anong eskwelahan? (What school?)

Pacquiao: Eskewelahan? Dito lang. (School? Just here.)

Davila: Saan yun? (Where is it?)

Pacquiao: Dito sa Maynila (Here in Manila.)

Davila: Malaking istorya un, anong pangalan ng eskwelahan? (That’s a big story, what’s the name of the school?)

Pacquiao: Ibubulong ko na lang sa yo mamaya. (I’ll just whisper it to you later.)

It was a pretty straightforward interview but supporters of the boxing senator were not pleased.

“I’m a bit disappointed the way Karen Davila ask (sic) Manny Pacquiao,” @aimeesamson28 said.

“It’s rude, Karen Davila. Very unprofessional,” @Alfred_Lnd said in Filipino.

He followed this up by saying “You have to point it out to Manny? And on television too.”

In another tweet, he said: “Why do you need to rub it in on someone’s face that he is not qualified in case the basis for education is a college degree?”

However, some netizens have come to Davila’s defense.

“How is it ‘bastos (rude)’? Manny can’t even prove that he is taking a college degree? Gahd people. I hate elections. Makes me hate people too,” @CarelosWhisper said.

This isn’t the first time Davila went viral for grilling a senatorial candidate on TV.

In 2015, she put actress Alma Moreno in the hot seat by asking if she’s for the Reproductive Health Law.

Moreno said “Yes with reservations” but infamously said “Do I really need to answer that?” when Davila asked what these reservations were.

That time, netizens were on Davila’s side, with many saying that she effectively questioned Moreno. The interview became an instant meme and Davila was lauded online.


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