Heart Evangelista once again earned online buzz again over her posts on the anti-terror bill, donations and her reaction to online critics.
During the quarantine period, Evangelista kept herself busy with relief and donation programs dedicated to health workers and other COVID-19 frontliners as well as sick children in Metro Manila and Sorsogon, where her husband Chiz Escudero currently governs.
She also made local headlines for her elegant “palengke” and grocery shopping outfits, and customized personal protective equipment, face masks, and other accessories from expensive brands.
PPE suits refer to full-body suits often used by health workers when dealing with patients with infectious diseases.
Anti-terrorism bill stance
On Thursday, Evangelista took to Instagram to express her opposition to the passage of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, joining the list of social media personalities and celebrities who shared the same position to their fanbases.
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For the past few days, I have been reading the bill, as well as talking to different people— lawyers, human rights activists, and people I trust to educate myself and understand more about the Anti-Terror Bill and how this will affect us all. I don’t usually talk about my political views because I am no expert but today, I’m choosing to speak out and to use my platform to take a stand. I am not an expert but I care and I know in my heart that this is wrong. I cannot support a law that could easily be abused just because they say that they won’t abuse it. Someone once said, “The history of liberty is a history of limitations on governmental power, not the increase of it”. I hope those in power learn from history and heed this call. 🙏🏻
She admitted that her lack of knowledge prevented her from speaking up about her political views.
Before making her statement, Evangelista said she talked to lawyers and human rights activists to educate herself on the implications of the measure.
“For the past few days, I have been reading the bill, as well as talking to different people— lawyers, human rights activists, and people I trust to educate myself and understand more about the Anti-Terror Bill and how this will affect us all,” the actress said.
“I don’t usually talk about my political views because I am no expert but today, I’m choosing to speak out and to use my platform to take a stand.,” she added.
Despite not being an “expert,” Evangelista argued that the controversial measure is prone to abuse, which was also the same sentiment of the dissenters of the bill, and hoped lawmakers have learned the use of power in history.
“I cannot support a law that could easily be abused just because they say that they won’t abuse it. Someone once said, ‘The history of liberty is a history of limitations on governmental power, not the increase of it.’ I hope those in power learn from history and heed this call,” Evangelista said.
Her husband this week earned criticisms when he voiced out his opinions on the same controversial measure on Twitter because his mother House Deputy Speaker Rep. Evelina Escudero (Sorsogon, First District) was among the principal authors of the first version of the bill.
Escudero clarified that her mother told him that she had abstained in the voting.
On the same day, Evangelista announced that she’s donating tablet units to students for their online classes. She also attached a photo of the tablet she was donating.
“For those who don’t have tablets for online school please dm me on IG… I will be giving away as many tablets as I can,” she said.
For those who don’t have tablets for online school please dm me on ig… I will be giving away as much tablets as I can 🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/0hi8DlCxql
— LoveMarie O. Escudero (@heart021485) June 4, 2020
In a separate tweet, the actress explained why she was giving away these devices.
“I heard having a tablet or computer is a requirement for online classes so I will do the best I can. I’m sorry I can’t help everyone but I will try to help as much as I can,” Evangelista said.
The Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education previously advised schools to adopt alternative learning strategies, including holding online classes, while they cope with the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Reacting to critics
Amid her charity works during the pandemic, some Filipinos still expressed their disdain toward Evangelista’s posh and expensive lifestyle.
An online user posted a photo of the actress captioned it:
“The out of touch privileged, in the context of race and class, is a problem not only in the U.S., but in the Philippines as well.”
Evangelista then reacted to this “privileged” remark and shared that the negative comment caused her “so much sadness.”
“You have caused me so much sadness. I honestly don’t know what to do about myself. Two days you’ve been at it,” Evangelista said.
“I express myself through my art and fashion. I have not done anything wrong. Using my image to create hate is wrong… still I will wish you well. God bless,” she added.
YOU have caused me so much sadness.I honesty don’t know what to do about myself.2 days you’ve been at it.I express myself through my art and fashion.I have not done anything wrong .Using my image to create hate is wrong… still I will wish you well.God bless https://t.co/lwldMAeCP1
— LoveMarie O. Escudero (@heart021485) June 4, 2020
Evangelista, however, said the criticisms will not stop her from living her life the way it is.
“I will fight for what’s right in my heart and I will use all the love I know for a purpose. Life is too short people…you never know,” she added.
Why hate Heart?
The actress was backed by netizens who said that the actress does not deserve the hate she is getting.
The online users cited the charitable initiatives of Evangelista amid the pandemic as they defend the actress.
“I understand the need to be sensitive in these trying times, but I disagree with Heart being an out-of-touch privileged. She may flaunt her wealth but she does not forget to help, reach out and share to others,” a Twitter user said.
“To everyone who labels Heart as “out of touch” or “insensitive”, please watch her vlogs! She has been actively helping people (and animals) even before this pandemic started. She uses her platform to speak out on issues. Can’t we educate someone before we completely cancel them?” another user said.
tbh ang pointless na nung hate towards heart evangelista. she’s known for the extravagant dresses and get ups for the simplest occasions so technically, her new normal is really out of touch and isnt that the point of her brand?? but despite that, her actions tell the opposite.
— tired duck (@Gaylowkey) June 4, 2020
Heart is indeed ‘maarte’ bc that’s how she expresses herself but I don’t think she is an out of touch privileged. I see her helping and using her privilege very well. Stop barking at the wrong tree. Why do we have to hate everyone? https://t.co/8NyGFBlnkv
— nicole #JUNKTERRORBILLNOW (@nicolexaguila) June 5, 2020
Sit down, Miss Recto. Let me call you out din for calling Miss Heart “Out of touch priviledged” bc she has been reaching out, helping people without even flexing it on social media. TRY to atleast reflect and do some damn research before spreading hate. Napahiya ka tuloy. Cringe. https://t.co/6pmW8fXp7a
— Robi Gonzales (@flywithrobi) June 5, 2020