Coco Martin apologizes to women for offensive Bench show
MANILA, Philippines – Actor Coco Martin met up with various women’s groups on Monday, October 6 to apologize for his controversial segment in the Bench fashion show "The Naked Truth" last September 20.
According to a report from ABS-CBN, the Ikaw Lamang actor said he learned so much from the issue, which women's groups such as the Philippine Commission on Women and Gabriela raised after he appeared on the runway pulling a skimpy-clad woman on a leash.
"Responsibilidad ko ito bilang tao, bilang artista. May responsibilidad ako sa aking kapwa, lalo na sa mga kababaihan na naapakan ko. Hindi ito 'yung parang hihingi ako ng [apology] after that 'yun na 'yon," he said.
(This is my responsibility as a person, as an artist. I have a responsibility to people, especially the women that I stepped on. This is not just for me to seek an apology and after that, that's it.)
To show that he was sincere with his apology, Coco said he will involve himself in projects against violence on women and children.
"Kailangan kong i-clarify, kailangan kong humingi ng dispensa o paumanhin sa lahat mga taong concerned at sa mga kababaihan na naapakan ko. Humihingi po talaga ako ng dispensa sa aking ginawang pagkakamali."
(I have to clarify, that I need to say sorry or forgiveness to all the people concerned and to the women that I stepped on. I am really seeking for forgiveness for the mistake I made.)
"Honestly, ako po mismo inaako ko na. Ako po ay tumatayo at nagkaroon po ako ng pagkakamali sa pangyayaring ito. Sa lahat po ng aking nasaktan at naapakan, sana po ay mapatawad niyo po ako," he added.
(Honestly, I myself personally take full responsibility for it. I own up to the mistake I made. To those whom I hurt and stepped on, I hope you will forgive me.)
Emmeline Versoza, director of the Philippine Commission on Women, said they have accepted Coco's apology.
"Ina-accept namin ang kaniyang apology, sinserong sinsero at alam mong genuine ang pagtanggap," she said.
(We accept his apology. It was very sincere and you know his acceptance of his mistake was genuine.)
On September 29, Coco issued an apology read by Kris Aquino on Aquino and Abunda Tonight regarding his controversial participation in the Bench show.
“Honestly po, sobra akong nalungkot sa mga nangyari. Inaamin ko po ang naging pagkukulang ko. Dala na rin po sa pagod sa araw-araw na trabaho, hindi ko nakita ang malalim na kahulugan ng 'pinagawa sa akin sa Bench fashion show," he said.
(Honestly, I was very sad with what happened. I admit I was at fault. Partly due to exhaustion from working every day, I did not see the deeper meaning of what I had been asked to do at the Bench fashion show.)
“Humihingi po ako ng patawad at pag-intindi sa mga kinauukulan, kasama ang pangako na magiging mas sensitibo ako sa mga isyung may patungkol sa karapatang pantao at pangkababaihan. Alam mo kung gaano kahalaga sa akin ang lola, ang mommy ko, at mga kapatid kong babae. Hindi ko magagawang tahasang mang-insulto ng babae sa anumang paraan. Marami po akong natutunan dito, una na sa lahat ang responsibilidad na kakabit ng aking trabaho. Maraming salamat."
(I seek forgiveness and understanding from all those concerned, with the promise that I will be more sensitive regarding issues on human rights and women's rights. You know how important my grandmother, my mother, and my sisters are to me. I can never insult women in any way. I learned so much from this, especially the fact that there are responsibilities attached to my work. Thank you very much.)
Bench founder Ben Chan also issued a personal statement, apologizing to those who were offended by the segment, and said sorry to Coco for being dragged into the controversy.
The company also posted an apology on Instagram and Twitter for the elements of the show deemed offensive, but it was later removed. – Rappler.com