Photo from the Playgirls Facebook page
MANILA, Philippines – A stalwart of the ruling Liberal Party (LP) came to the defense of his party mates on Monday, October 5, after they came under fire over a controversial performance where an all-girls group was seen gyrating and dry-humping on stage in a public event.
“Hype lang yun eh kasi birthday party yun, hindi yung LP event. Ginagawa nalang ng mga issue, pinapalaki,” Caloocan Representative Edgar Erice told reporters on the sidelines of the party’s announcement of Camarines Sur Representative Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo’s vice presidential bid.
(It was hyped because it wasn’t even an LP event, it was a birthday party. People are just turning it into an issue, making it bigger than it really is.)
Erice was asked about the Thursday, October 1 performance of the all-girls group “Playgirls” during the birthday party of Laguna Representative Benjamin Agarao. Prior to the performance, LP standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II led the oath taking of some 80 new LP members from the fourth district of Laguna.
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino was initially credited for the performance. The emcee during the event said the “Playgirls” were a “gift” from the MMDA chairman, who is set to run for senator in 2016 under the ruling party’s banner.
“Mali yun pero dapat ang may responsibilidad non yung mga artist group. Yung mga nag invite, di naman nila alam na yun ang gagawin nila,” said Erice. (The performance was wrong but the responsibility lies with the artist group. Those who invited them didn’t know the performance would turnout the way it did.)
Erice's response contradicts an earlier statement issued by female LP lawmakers, who called for the party to investigate the incident and punish members who invited the girls to the event.
Tolentino denied hiring the girls. Agarao later said, without elaborating, that a friend of his had hired the girls to perform during his birthday party. It's still unclear who exactly hired the group for the event.
Facebook posts from the “Playgirls,” however, showed that Tolentino once hired the group for the 2013 campaign of his brother, who is a legislator.
Will they drop him?
The LP was set to announce its Senate slate on October 5 as well, but this has been moved to Friday, October 9.
LP acting president and Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya said certain “issues” needed to be settled, hence the delay in the announcement of the Senate slate. Asked about the change in date, Abaya said the party wanted Robredo to have “all the space and importance of this major decision.”
Asked about Tolentino’s inclusion or exclusion from the slate, Abaya said: “Tuloy-tuloy yung proseso para tignan yung pagpipili (The selection process is ongoing). There are certain issues, pros and cons, likewise we’re still somewhat trying to decipher who wouldn’t be able to included in the slate because there are more applicants that the slots.”
Asked if Tolentino’s alleged involvement in the controversial performance would affect his inclusion in the Senate slate, Erice said the investigation, which Roxas earlier announced, was still ongoing. Erice said Senate President Franklin Drilon, who himself will be running for senator in 2016, is heading the probe. – Rappler.com