Salceda to Xian Lim on t-shirt controversy: Learn from Ramon Bautista

UNDER FIRE. The actor clarified his refusal to wear the shirt in a statement on his Twitter account.

Photo by Tiffany Jillian Go/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – There's trouble brewing between movie star Xian Lim and the province of Albay and its leaders, with Governor Joey Salceda saying that he should "learn from Ramon Bautista," who was previously declared persona non grata in Davao City after a joke he made that was deemed offensive

"Someone should learn from Ramon Bautista who called the women of Davao as "hipon". Pero dito wholesale- I DID NOT COME HERE TO PROMOTE ALBAY. Thats all Albayanos across generations, now, before and in the future," Salceda posted on Facebook

But what exactly happened? Let's review the situation: 

Xian was recently in Albay for the Tsinoy Albay festival on February 19. In a radio report from Radyo ng Bayan – Albay (RNB-Albay), a state-run radio station, Albay Governor Joey Salceda's chief of staff, lawyer Caroline Cruz, narrated the events. 

Following Xian's arrival at the hotel, he was offered a t-shirt by Governor Salceda's staff, but declined it, saying "Huwag po, ayaw ko po." (No, I don't want that.) 

According to Cruz, after he declined the shirt, he was offered a coffee table book – and this was when Xian allegedly said, "I did not come here to promote Albay."

The report also details that others present were dismayed about the incident:

"Matapos ang mga pangyayari, umalis na siya at pumunta sa sasakyan. Sumunod kay Cruz ang mga tao, ang kanyang staff at mga photographers. Sinabi ng mga itong nakita nila ang buong pangyayari. Sinabi ng mga itong. 'Ma'am iniwan na namin ang bastos at mahal pa naman ng bayad sa kanya," goes the report. 

(After the events, he left to go to the car. People, including staff and the photographers, followed Cruz, and they said they saw the whole thing, saying: 'Ma'am, we left that rude guy, and he was paid a lot of money.

The report goes on to say that Xian would not ride in economy class going to Albay, even though it was just a 45-minute ride, pushing for a premium economy seat. 

The report also quotes residents as saying they are disappointed by Xian, with some asking that he be declared persona non grata

Xian says 

Xian apologized to Albay Governor Joey Salceda in a statement he released on his Twitter account on February 20, 2015.

In his Twitter statement, he said that he only refused to wear the shirt because it might conflict with his clothing endorsement. — XIAN LIM (@XianLimm) February 19, 2015 

He also mentioned that he was misquoted in an online article, where he allegedly said, "I am not here to promote Albay," when in fact, his exact words to the author were completely different. — XIAN LIM (@XianLimm) February 19, 2015

However, the same report from RNB-Albay goes on to say that Xian should not have had a problem with the shirt, since he was invited by the local government, not a private institution. 

The report was shared by Governor Salceda on his Facebook page. 

Salceda's posts

Xian's statement followed a series of Facebook posts from Albay Governor Joey Salceda:

Post by Joey Sarte Salceda.

Post by Joey Sarte Salceda.

What do you think of the whole situation? Let us know in the comments below. –