Arnell Ignacio downplays doubters: It's really nothing new

Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 30 2016 01:59 PM

MANILA - Actor-comedian and Pagcor official Arnell Ignacio dismissed Wednesday questions about his qualifications to serve in government, saying he is already used to bashing having come from showbiz.

Speaking to reporters, Ignacio said his job as head of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation community relations and services department head is to inform the public about the services rendered by the gaming agency.

He mentioned the allocation of funds for relief goods to help victims of calamities, the 5 billion pesos turned over for the President's socio civic fund which may be used for the revival of Botika ng Bayan, 5 million monthly allocation for the Dangerous Drugs Board, among others.

Ignacio said he takes criticisms about his appointment in stride, saying he is determined to help fulfill Pagcor's mandate to serve the people.

"Ako naman taga showbiz ako. I get to be bashed every day. It's really nothing new to me. Kumbaga sanay na ang dibdib ko na linalait ka, pinipintasan. Hindi ko na rin napansin. Ang importante lang gusto kong kakasama dito sa pagbabago na ito and so far I think we are doing a good job in Pagcor," he said.

Ignacio earlier revealed he was not appointed to Pagcor by simply being close with President Rodrigo Duterte.

"I printed about ten to fifteen résumé, and when I met Ma’am Andrea [Domingo], she was asking for my number, I gave her my résumé; and, of course, I submitted one din sa Davao," he said in an ANC Headstart interview.

Ignacio said he did not host any of Duterte's campaign rallies until the latter was formally proclaimed the winner of the polls. He said he had no access to then-candidate Duterte's miting de avance.

"The first time I met him, when Ma’am Honeylet [Avanceña] called me to come up on stage in the miting de avance, that was the first time I really got to meet him face-to-face," he said.

Then, he was told by Duterte, 'Do not worry, we will fix this country’ with "so much conviction," it moved him to tears and unable to deliver a speech he wanted to say.

Today, he said, Duterte calls him "a friend," and he believes the president "says that in all sincerity."