Piolo Pascual wants this clear: His recent trip to Sagada and Banaue, supposedly to shoot scenes for the upcoming State of the Nation Address, has nothing to do with President Rodrigo Duterte.
In the past week, Piolo and film director Joyce Bernal trended online following their trips to the two municipalities.
However, both the Sagada and Banaue council rejected their application to shoot, citing its strict quarantine ordinance as main reason for disallowing their team.
Many netizens criticized Piolo for his "support" for the administration, while his home network ABS-CBN is struggling to get a franchise.
In a statement, Piolo said he was saddened by the judgment he and Bernal received, saying they were judged by people without getting to know the facts behind the issue.
"I'm the type who just let things pass and the truth speak for itself but this time I'm forced to air my side for clarity," he wrote.
He emphasized his loyalty has been with ABS-CBN since he began in show business.
"I haven't met the President personally and I don't do politics as some may know," he pointed out. "I was there with Direk Joyce and my friend Illac Diaz to help Direk Joyce to get footage for her personal message/video before the start of the SONA, showing how the environment has changed positively because of the pandemic."
"This isn't about the President," Piolo added.
So, why were they there? Well, they went to "get footage for (Bernal's) personal message/ video before the start of the SONA, showing how the environment has changed positively because of the pandemic."
The actor-producer narrated what happened during their trip.
"He (Sagada mayor) gave us verbal approval and so we drove for nine hours to the Mt. Province," he recalled. "We were escorted by the police from Baguio City to Sagada to make sure we didn't go anywhere else or deviate from our trip."
"e went to Capitol and Direk Joyce asked the Governor where we could shoot but the Mayor also declined since there were active cases there," Piolo said. "We were in touch with the local council and respected their decision and by the way, all of us did a rapid test before going on this trip."
"Finally, we arrived in Baguio City. We lined up for triage and got our clearance for entry
The next day we did a swab test again and just shot at places wherein nature was the subject and not the people."
Piolo reiterated that his association with Direk Joyce Bernal has nothing to do with his political stand.
"I love my country regardless of who the President is and I love my home network which is ABS-CBN," he said.
"There's not a day that I didn't pray for ABS-CBN," Piolo went on. "I love my job and I love this nation, so please stop hating or judging as the world is already at the brink of losing hope."
Piolo ended his statement by asking his followers to encourage each other, build each other up, and pray for one another.
"Life is too short to be lived with anger and bitterness in our hearts. God bless you."