On Friday, February 15, the day after her birthday, online media personality Kris Aquino was expected to arrive at the office of Quezon City fiscal Rolando Ramirez. She and her legal team were supposed to file a counter-affidavit on the grave threats complaint filed against her by Nicardo “Nicko” Falcis, former managing director of her Kris Cojuangco Aquino Productions (KCAP), and Jesus “Jess” Falcis, Nicko’s brother and lawyer. However, Kris was a no-show for the second time. The original date of the preliminary investigation was February 8. It was again rescheduled to February 22.
“I think her term was ‘laughable’”
After filing the “entry of appearance” and setting another date for the investigation, Atty. Mikko Axalan of DivinaLaw, one of the law firms representing Kris, spoke to ANCX about their team’s next move.
“Actually, last week, when we had it scheduled on February 15, when we told her that it was scheduled today, sabi niya meron na pala siyang ticket for Japan. She was intending to celebrate her birthday there. But we already have a draft of the counter-affidavit. We are just going to file it next week.”
As of press time, Kris is still in Japan with her sons, Josh and Bimby.
According to Atty. Mikko, Kris had already read the grave threats complaint filed against her. “I think her term was ‘laughable,’” she said of Kris’s reaction to the document. “‘Laughable’ daw ’yong complaint. And then she said na she’s going to give a statement na lang when she files the counter-affidavit—a more detailed statement.”
From Atty. Mikko’s recollection, Kris left for Japan on either February 12 or February 13.
As per Atty. Mikko, her client is doing fine, thank you very much, and does not want to be disturbed. “Actually, I haven’t talked to her personally kasi nga nasa Japan siya, but ’yong mga senior partner said na she’s doing well. She’s happy. She has to relax. Actually, she really wanted to stay in Japan. It’s one of her happy places kasi talaga. So she wanted to spend her birthday there para at least iwas muna sa issues. So sabi niya, parang nakiusap nga rin siya na, ‘Uy, baka puwede naman na sa February 22 na. At least tapos na ’yong birthdayko.’”
Kris is scheduled to come back on February 19.
Nothing but ‘paandar’
One of Kris’s accusers, Atty. Jess, attended the derailed preliminary investigation, hoping for a better turnout of events. He was accompanied by Atty. Regidor A. Ponferrada of Ponferrada Ty Offices, the law firm representing him and Nicko.
Atty. Jess called her absence one of her “paandar”—a gimmick. He spoke with ANCX after the brief proceeding at the fiscal’s office. He said, “Sabi ng lawyers niya last week she’s gonna be here, no. ’Yang Japan naman niya, alam niya na ’yan noon. So, ano pa ’yang paandar na she’s gonna be here? So dapat sinabi na lang ng lawyers niya last week, because Kris would know that, na she cannot be here. Di ba?
“And she doesn’t wanna be here because she doesn’t wanna face the cases so close to her birthday. Affected siya, e. Ibabalik ko lang sa kanya ang sinabi niyal ast year: ‘Flight is guilt.’ Sabi niya ’yon, ha. Of course kami kinontest namin. So sino ang hindi nandito?”
If it was Kris telling Nicko in January to face his case, it’s the Falcises’ turn to ask the same of Kris. “Sana naman ano, Kris Aquino, harapin mo ’yong mga kaso mo,” says Atty. Jess. “And this is not going to be the last. Ipapakulong talaga namin siya. Sabi niya the audio didn’t work. It worked. Because she admitted to making those statements. Di ba? Sa kanyang every IG [Instagram] Live. ’Tapos hindi pa natatapos si Madam, nag-a-IG-Live ulit kahapon, with Ogie Diaz, kung anu-anong mga pinagsasabi. Libelous ulit. So ako, I just have to respond… well, of course, it’s not too late for her. As a lawyer, I know she has one more week. So hopefully she faces her cases.”
The “IG Live” he is referring to is the four-part video released on Kris’s official Facebook page, Kris Aquino, on February 14. The series of videos called, Unscripted with Kris: Birthday Conversations, contains Kris’s sit-down interview sessions with entertainment reporters Ogie Diaz and Dindo Balares.
At one point in the video, Kris spoke about her accusers and their statements against her. She said, “’Yong sa kanila based on fiction, akin based on facts. Siguro nag-ano siya [Nicko], nag-ipon siya ng mga kuwento niya, di ba? At ng mga paninirang gagawin sa akin.”Then, looking directly at the camera, she uttered,“I’m still here. It didn’t work.”
The Snail White issue
On our February 15 interview with Atty. Jess, the lawyer talked about Kris’s last statement, which he attributed to the now-viral audio recording of a conversation between Nicko and Kris. [Kris implicitly admitted to being the voice in the recording, and apologized for her actions.]
Atty. Jess exclaimed, “The audio daw didn’t work. She’s still here. Of course, we’re not here to remove her. But the audio worked, compared to what she’s claiming, because if you ask her stakeholders, a lot of them left. And spin na lang niya ’yon na siya mismo hindi nag-renew or hindi na lang tumuloy.”
In Unscripted with Kris: Birthday Conversations, Kris gave her side on why she had to discontinue one of her endorsement deals, the skin-whitening product Snail White. “Hindi nag-terminate, pero hindi na kami nag-renew,” she told her interviewers.“Ako ’yong nagsabi na—I can name it—because I can no longer effectively endorse Snail White. ’Yong may problem with chronic spontaneous urticaria is that bawal akong gumamit ng mga sabon na hindi hypoallergenic. So I didn’t want to lie to the people. It was a discussion between me and my legal team, and their company about what is truthful. Kasi sabi ko, ‘Imposibleng hindi ko ilalabas kung anong medical results ko.’So baka makasamâ sa kanila. It is a very good product, it’s just not a product that I myself am now using dahil hindi na puwede.”
In our interview, Atty. Jess said that on a “hearsay level,” he believed that Kris’s revelation about her contract with Snail White was a lie. “She says it’s a mutual understanding, etc., but Snail White doesn’t wanna work with her anymore,” he contested. "If they wanted to, they would have kept her as an endorser."
Atty. Jess added that he and his brother are ready to fight this through, citing the strength of their case as the core of their confidence.“Mahihirapan sila mag-counter-affidavit,” he told us. “Because we are not using the audio as evidence. We are using the testimony of my brother. So under the rules of court, under law, ang evidence can be documentary, object—physical mismo—or testimonial. Just because it’s testimonial, it doesn’t mean it’s weak. My brother has testimonial evidence. Siya mismo ’yong tinreathen. He can testify to that. The other is, testimony ni Kris Aquino, where she admitted that she was the woman in the audio. So that’s called an admission against interest. We’re not using the audio. I mean, we’re quite confident with our case. Siya ang mamroblema. What’s her defense?”
Fatter Nicko means he’s okay
“We’re better now because nakapagsalita na kami,” said Atty. Jess responding to our question as to how his family is doing.
In an effort to lighten the mood, he added, “Nicko got thinner, but he got fatter nain the last two weeks. For me, of course, that’s a good sign. He’s fatter talaga dapatthan me,but he got thinner than me because of this issue. But now, he regained weight. For me that’s a sign he’s okay.
“’Tsaka he’s really back to work, with the stakeholders. He has work here, he has work abroad. Of course, minention na ng DivinaLaw ang Potato Corner Thailand, so he shuttles back. Compared to Kris Aquino, his stakeholders stood by him.” The involvement of Kris and Nicko in Potato Corner Thailand is one of the subjects being disputed in their legal feud.
According to Atty. Jess, Nicko, like Kris, has been trying to keep his mind off the cases. “Hindi na niya masyado iniisip,” he said. “I’m stressing over for him na because siya naman talaga ’yong businessman. Ako, I’m not the businessman.”
As for the February 22 meeting, Atty. Jess said he couldn’t assure Nicko’s presence. “It depends. Most likely, it’s gonna be me because, of course, he’s the more directly threatened one.”
He also declined to give the details of Nicko’s current whereabouts.
“He’s here when he needs to be.”
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