Chiz and Heart-A A +A
Friday, March 22, 2013
TONIGHT at 6:30 at the La Belle Aurore Bookshop on Junquera St.: Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues. starring, among others, TV 5’s Andi Patena.
I know that we are in a season of madness, also known as the campaign period, but I was not prepared for something so bizarre as the report of a mother accusing a re-electionist senator of stealing away her daughter.
This is not the kind of publicity that Chiz Escudero needs, not at a time when the Church has targeted him and six other Senate bets for junking because of their role in the passage of the Reproductive Health law and certainly not after deposed president Erap Estrada made it his mission to punish Esceduro for dumping the United Nationalist Alliance in favor of the administration coalition.
But there it is, the mother of Heart Evangelista publicly claiming that Escudero had manipulated the actress to turn against her parents. In addition, she accused him of: being arrogant and an alcoholic; being an opportunist by moving into Heart’s apartment and using her Mercedes Benz at will; cowardice for hiding behind Heart’s skirt; and seduction by making Heart believe that she will be First Lady in 2016.
Any of these claims would have warranted a second look by the prosecutor’s office if a complaint for libel were filed but in another bizarre twist, it is Heart’s mother who is threatening Chiz with libel for his claim that he’s caught in the middle of a family feud. In addition, she is contemplating another criminal for incriminating an innocent person and a civil case for damages for disturbing the private life of another, according to her.
Heart is already 28 years old. This is the age when your parents, when they look at you, begin to wonder whether you are getting married. But not Heart’s mother who says that her daughter is still young and innocent, “over-protected as a child.” From the looks of it, she is also over-protected as an adult.
The attempt to portray Chiz as a conscience-challenged cradle-snatcher is apparent in the mother’s press statement. How it will affect his candidacy, we still have to see.
Curiously, her tirade came at a time when at one least one polling firm is conducting its latest survey on voters’ preferences for the Senate.
Escudero has consistently ranked second in the last two surveys. I doubt if there is any backlash huge enough to pull him out of the magic 12. Still, what is happening to him should teach politicians one very valuable lesson: even in affairs of the heart, you need to build alliances especially with your prospective mother-in-law.
The Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) started it but Team Rama is winning the poster war. Drive around Cebu City and you’ll see that posters of candidates in Mike Rama’s slate not only outnumber those of Tommy Osmeña’s allies; they’re also much bigger. On the way to Radio 5 from our house in Sambag, for example, the posters of Alcover, Rupinta and Guardo dwarf those of Cabrera, Andales and Arcilla.
I think the Team Rama candidates are getting the better legal advice. That is why they are taking advantage of a rule that says between now and the start of the official campaign period for local officials on March 30, all election laws are, for all intents and purposes, non-existent because of a weird rule that says there is no such thing as premature campaigning before the campaign period sets in.
Thus a candidate for local office can hang a kilometer-long streamer and not worry about the consequences provided that he removes it on March 29. Yes, he is allowed to do that. Only in the Philippines.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 22, 2013.