MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Loren Legarda, who is running for vice president under the Nacionalista Party, brushed off the controversial photo of her big celebrity endorser Sarah Geronimo.
The photo shows the pop star princess flashing the “Laban” sign and wearing a yellow shirt, both of which are associated with the camp of presidential bet Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III of the Liberal Party.
Legarda blamed Aquino’s camp for the controversy, saying she is no longer surprised by her opponents' alleged smear campaign against her and running mate Sen. Manny Villar.
"Hindi na ako nagugulat sa sobrang paninira ng dilaw sa internet [at] kung saan saan," Legarda said.
She maintained that Geronimo remains her strong supporter.
Reports said the picture in question was taken in 2007 and was posted in the singer’s website.
Earlier, Geronimo’s record label, Viva Records, also dismissed the controversy.
Viva head Vic del Rosario said he suspects the picture was altered to show that the singer is supporting Aquino, who is ahead by 12 percentage points over Villar in the latest survey.
Geronimo is among the roster of celebrities endorsing Villar’s camp. She was reportedly paid P20 million in exchange for her endorsement, but the senator refused to confirm the reports.
Comedy King Dolphy and popular noontime host Willie Revillame are also Villar supporters.