MANILA — Film producer Neil Arce did not let pass a comment branding his fiancée Angel Locsin's relief campaign amid the coronavirus crisis as "fake" and a means for "pure publicity."
The actress, one of Forbes Asia's "Heroes of Philanthropy," has been spearheading a fundraiser that provides tents to hospitals overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients, and has been coordinating efforts to send personal protective equipment to healthcare workers.
As Locsin called out for donations and shared updates on her fundraiser's progress, one netizen, who identified as a sociologist, questioned the actress' motives in actively lending aid to medical centers.
A screenshot of the sociologist's Facebook status was posted by Arce on his own page. The sociologist wrote:
"Frankly speaking, I am not impressed with actress Angel Locsin if she is helping. She is earning an overpriced rate of P500,000 per taping day. That is an injustice to the more hardworking Filipinos working very hard but not paid properly. Her help is pure publicity and self-promotion."
"I'd rather praise our lowly hardworking frontliners who are underpaid than those boastful teleserye stars who are self-centered. The problem with Filipinos is that they easily praise and worship those boastful stars. I can feel that Angel Locsin is not genuine. I am not dumb. I am a sociologist. I know her sincerity is fake."
Arce, who is an active collaborator in Locsin's campaign, came to the defense of the actress, saying that impressing people is the least of her concerns.
"First of all my fiancée is not trying to impress anyone. So it doesn't really matter to us if you were not impressed. Yes, I agree with you, I myself would rather praise frontliners who are risking their lives everyday. This is the reason why we are doing this, to help our frontliners by making sure they are protected, making sure they can rest and by making sure we do everything we can to make their lives easier," he wrote.
"Impressing anyone especially people like you who seems to hate on people you do not know personally is not at all important to us," Arce added.
He also belied the sociologist's claim regarding Locsin's income, and expressed pride over the actress using her celebrity for a greater cause.
"Stating that she makes that much money per taping a day is far from reality and is fallacious. I honestly believe that God made her successful because God knows she will use it to help those who are in need," he wrote.
Arce then criticized the sociologist's move to paint good deeds in a negative light, especially amid a health crisis that has cost many lives and livelihood.
"Calling out all actors as self-centered and Filipinos idiots is something we do not need during this time of crisis, sir," he said.
"What worries me is that I read that you are a professor is this what we are supposed to teach our students? Are we supposed to teach our students to look at everything negatively? I don't expect everyone to believe in the sincerity of the things we do. But if the people our students are supposed to learn from think this way then our country will never really have a chance to prosper," Arce said.