MANILA — Screen veteran Sharon Cuneta lamented on Thursday what she perceived to be the loss of decency among many Filipinos, as she addressed malicious comments on her post expressing support for the vice-presidential bid of her husband and his running-mate, aspiring president Leni Robredo.
Cuneta has been posting images and statements in support of what’s now been dubbed “TROPA,” or Team Robredo and Pangilinan.
Cuneta’s husband of 25 years, Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, is running in tandem with Robredo in the 2022 elections as opposition candidates.
“I was already expecting lots of trolls and haters to descend on this page once I posted about VP Leni and Kiko. Sadly, this is what this present administration has created and instilled in our people,” Cuneta wrote on Thursday.
“Now, lumalabas na ang pagkabastos at pagkawalang disente ng marami sa ating mga Pilipino. Kundi na tayo marunong rumespeto sa isa’t-isa, paano tayo rerespetuhin ng mundo? Nasaan na ang tunay na bayanihan?” she said.
Cuneta spoke similarly in June 2020, when her daughter Frankie Pangilinan became the target of threats from a self-proclaimed “DDS” or Duterte supporters. At the time, she said she hopes Robredo would succeed Duterte in 2022, so that some semblance of decency would be restored in the country.
In her statement on Thursday, Cuneta, whose late father Pablo Cuneta served as Pasay mayor for decades, shared her recollection of political differences — that opposing sides did not have to resort to being disrespectful.
“Noong araw, nagrerespetuhan tayo ng kanya-kanyang paniniwala at kandidato 'pag kampanya at eleksiyon na. Magkakitaan na lang sa kung sinu-sino ang mahalal. Ngayon, ganito na -- bastusan. 'Yan ang dapat ma-erase. Maibalik sana natin ang ating pagkadisente at pagiging kagalang-galang,” she said.
The OPM icon then urged her followers to open their eyes to injustices and corruption, as well as the incompetence in handling the raging pandemic. While she did not directly mention President Rodrigo Duterte, with whom she formerly had close ties, Cuneta brought up a leader who once called God “stupid” — one of the Chief Executive’s many controversial remarks.
“Piliin ninyo ang mga pinuno na may takot sa Panginoon -- 'yung hindi tinatawag ang Diyos na ‘stupid.’ Ang walang paniniwala sa Panginoon ay nakakatakot mamuno, dahil ang diyos niya ang ang sarili niya.
“Pumili kayo ng mga walang bahid ng korupsyon, may tapat na hangaring makapaglingkod at protektahan tayo. Hindi 'yung wala na ngang trabaho ang mga kababayan natin, gutom na wala pang ayuda, ang bakuna kulang na nga pinababayaran pa -- pero ang mga 'di makasagot kung saan na napunta ang bilyong-bilyong piso na napunta sa Pharmally pero kitang-kita ang mga magagarang sasakyan at biglang pagyaman ng mga kasali diyan, 'yun ang pinagtatakpan at pinoprotektahan,” she wrote.
Cuneta was referring to the ongoing Senate probe into the alleged anomalies in the Duterte administration’s procurement of COVID-19 supplies, worth P42 billion.
“Magising na po tayo,” Cuneta said. “'Di na makausad ang Pilipinas! Tama na ang pambobola sa atin. Tama na ang pinagtatawanan ang Pilipino ng mundo. Naway tulungan tayo ng Panginoong Diyos. God bless us all po!”
Cuneta’s vocal support for Pangilinan and Robredo’s 2022 bids follows her earlier statement addressing the political rift between her immediate family and relatives.
Cuneta’s uncle — the husband of her maternal aunt Helen Gamboa, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III — is also seeking the vice-presidential seat, with fellow senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson as his running mate.
She said she prays, “after this game called politics is over, that wounds are healed, loved ones do not doubt your love for them, and I and my sisters, especially, the only family I have left besides my own, find our way back to one another’s arms, unscathed and free of the pain our battlescars have brought us.”