Kris-Korina spat recalls marriage of showbiz, politics in the Philippines

April 23, 2018 - 12:35 PM
10171 file photo. By John Nicole Villamor

Actress and host Kris Aquino through social media has recently called out her friend and former co-host Korina Sanchez for airing a feature on James Yap, Aquino’s ex-husband, and his new family on her show Rated K.

Aside from expressing anger for the feature, Aquino revealed how she had campaigned for Sanchez’s husband Mar Roxas as a favor for her brother, former president and Liberal Party stalwart Noynoy Aquino, who was Roxas’ running-mate in the 2010 presidential elections.

She also reserved praise for President Rodrigo Duterte, whom she related as having been courteous to her in their previous meetings. She posted a picture of her conversing with Duterte.

Critics and supporters of the administration had different interpretations of what Aquino’s diatribe implied.

Aquino has also received some flak for her statement, with the criticism citing her insensitivity to women with reproductive problems and her apparent support of the polarizing Duterte administration.

However, Aquino’s fanbase appears to have grown just as well.

The feud with James 

Aquino’s anger perhaps can be traced to the online tirade she launched against ex-husband James Yap recently.

Did you really think i would back down? I know how to survive & conquer. i got STRONGER, WORKED HARDER, and now if you disrespect me or my sons when i’ve done you no harm- i’m fighting back. Freedom of speech is a 2 way street. And I’M NOT DONE… What made me want to puke were the lines “i miss you and think about you everyday.” and “But i want you to know i will always be here for you.” NASAAN KA NUNG BINULLY SI BIMB NUNG DATIHANG BROADCASTER, na hindi naman umuubra ang pagsisipsip kay PRRD, NUNG TINAWAG NYANG BAKLAIN AT LAMPA ANG ANAK MO? When you never once made an effort to defend your son in any manner you showed what kind of man you are… Ganito ka simple- mismong si CRISTY FERMIN na kulang na lang isuka ang pagkatao ko sa mahabang panahon NAGAWAN NG PARAAN NA IPAGTANGGOL SI BIMB dahil bullying of an innocent child ang naganap at ikaw walang pakialam na nanahimik- hindi ako magagalit bilang nanay sa pagka fake ng salita mo? Never ko kayong pinakialaman kaya lang namihasa ka na dahil nga akala mo tatahimik na lang ako… Sorry hindi na ko takot ma bash. Karangalan kong sampal sampalin ng mga salita sa ngalan ng pakikipaglaban para sa mga anak ko. Pansinin nyo po, lahat ng pambabastos sa pagkatao ng pamilya namin napalagpas ko- dahil lahat kami nasa tamang edad at sanay sa buhay pulitika. Kailan ba ko naglalabas ng galit? Kapag mga anak ko na ang ginagamit at pinagmumukhang may mali sa kin bilang ina. Dahil sabihin nyo na ang lahat BUT MY SONS ARE LIVING PROOF that they are being raised with the love of a warrior queen. ?#lookwhatyoumademedo #Laban

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Her series of attacks on her basketball star ex-husband generally imply Yap to have been an absentee father to Bimby.

Showbiz and politics: a toxic but enduring marriage

Celebrities entering politics is a regular sight in the Philippines’ political landscape. The Upper House has five senators who had figured prominently in media and entertainment before being elected: Manny Pacquiao(boxing), Tito Sotto (comedy), Risa Hontiveros, Francis Pangilinan, and Loren Legarda (broadcasting). Before them came the likes of action stars Jinggoy Estrada, Lito Lapid, and Bong Revilla, and basketball legends Robert Jaworksi and Freddie Webb.

Action legend Joseph “Erap” Ejercito Estrada was elected president of the Philippines in 1998 before resigning almost three years later. His friend and fellow action star Fernando Poe Jr. finished second in the 2004 race to Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Currently, celebrities have also found their way to appointive positions. Former entertainer Mocha Uson sits as assistant secretary of the Philippine Communications Operations Office. Former child actor and musician Aiza Seguerra sat as chief of the National Youth Commission before resigning last month.

At the height of the turbulence of the 2004 polls, veteran journalists Chay Hofileña and Aries Rufo of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism noted the spreading influence of showbiz in the political sphere.

They noted how the successful politicians of the decade tapped both celebrities and showbiz publicists for their campaigns. Showbiz manager Lolit Solis for one in the article reveals how she was tapped by politicians for their campaigns and how she observed the sudden regard for celebrity PR by politicians following Estrada’s 1998 victory.

A report on The Economist later that year titled “Democracy as Showbiz” observed the growing number of celebrities entering the political sphere and how some appeared to have even edged the traditional political elite. It also observed the growing of trend of celebrities marrying into political clans.

Kris and Korina as dutiful campaigners

Both Aquino and Sanchez are familiar faces on TV and have done their share of campaigning for their loved ones in politics.

Sanchez, a veteran news anchor for more than two decades, campaigned for her husband’s presidential bid in the 2016 elections.

Rumors swirled in 2014 that she had taken a leave from her employment with ABS-CBN to help prepare for her husband’s campaign.

Before going on to marry his running mate, Sanchez is known to have been an ex-flame of Aquino’s brother, the former president Noynoy.