MANILA – Kris Aquino came to the defense of Angel Locsin after the Kapamilya actress became the subject of an Occidental Mindoro education module that tagged her “obese.”
In a photo of the module that circulated online last week, Locsin was used as an example in the physical education portion, describing her as “obese” and mentioning her supposed activities, including eating “fatty food” and “watching television at home.”
“I understand mahirap ang trabaho ng mga guro at kadalasan hindi sapat ang sweldo. Pero ang budget ng DepEd ay galing sa mga Pilipino, mga nagtatrabaho at nagbabayad ng buwis ang nagbibigay pondo para sa DepEd. In other words, lahat tayo stakeholders dito kaya mali kung ang likas na matulungin sa kapwa ang 'paglalaruan' in the guise of 'pagtuturo,'” Aquino said.
Aquino was referring to Locsin’s civic work and philanthropy which she displayed most especially in the recent months due to the pandemic and the aftermath of the typhoons that recently hit the country.
“Yes, we live in a democracy and the teacher has the right to exercise the same rights all of us have, the right to free speech. But in this instance, the person in authority (the teacher) is playing a significant role in shaping the values and characters of his/her students,” she said.
Aquino said Locsin was also just within her rights to fight for her dignity in light of the situation.
“In the statement, humihingi to spare the said individual from ‘attacks’ – eh sino ba ng nagbanggit ng pangalan? Kanino ba nanggaling ang pailalim na banat? Nasa tama si Gel na ipaglaban ang dignidad niya,” she said.
“Sir/ma’am -- kung mamemersonal po, open naman ang comments ni Angel sa IG and Twitter niya. Kahit hindi po kagandahan ang opinion sa kanya, at least sa mas na angkop na 'forum' in-express,’” she added.
To end her comment, Aquino left a heartwarming message for Locsin.
“Kagaya nga ng paulit-ulit kong sinasabi sa ’yo, hanga ako sa tatag at tapang mo. Isang sobrang higpit na yakap sa Ate mong nagmamahal,” she wrote.
Amid more recent comments about her body, Locsin has consistently remained mum. However, she took issue with her being used as an example in the Occidental Mindoro module, not because it pertained to her weight, but because of what it teaches students.
The Department of Education office in Occidental Mindoro has since issued an apology for the content of the module, saying it did not go through the quality assurance procedure of its central office.
It added that it “does not tolerate nor condone any act of body shaming, ad hominem or any similar act of bullying both in the physical and virtual environments.”
Locsin, in her response to the statement, urged an apology from the teacher behind the module, specifically to students whom she said were instead taught “bad conduct” and “discrimination,” as opposed to the values expected from the education system.
The DepEd on Wednesday clarified that a lesson describing Locsin as an obese person was not part of the agency’s self-learning module.
Speaking to ANC’s “Matters of Fact,” Education Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio said the material was a teacher-made summative assessment that sought to evaluate the students’ learning for a Physical Education class.
“It was not really like used in the whole DepEd. It was just for a group of learners the teacher was handling,” he said.
San Antonio said the material was not acceptable and had been withdrawn while the agency had also apologized to the actress for the incident.
The involved teacher will undergo an administrative proceeding and may face sanction, he added.