Actress Cynthia Patag and singer Jim Paredes and his wide Lydia have been slammed by Filipino netizens, who accused them of politicizing the death of musician Noli Asensio.
Both Patag and Paredes are vocal supporters of Liberal Party presidential candidate Mar Roxas II in the last elections. Both have also criticized President Rodrigo Duterte.
Patag posted about Asensio’s death on her Facebook page last weekend with a title “He wasn’t poor” and with the byline “Lydia M. Paredes.” The post claimed that Asensio was “abducted” and “drugged,” adding that he became a “victim of Duterte’s drug war.” These claims were said to have come from a certain Ana Segovia. Segovia further claimed to be Asensio’s cousin.
However, Asensio’s ex-wife Iwi Laurel and daughter Nicole refuted these claims by posting on their social media accounts.
According to Iwi, her ex-husband was not abducted or drugged and did not fall victim to the government’s anti-drug campaign.
“Forgive me for saying this, but you were not in the ER during his last moments and we never appointed you to be the family’s spokesperson. So please, do not use Noli’s passing for any of your political motives and schemes,” Iwi said.
“If you are a good person, you will stop spreading all these lies. If you have compassion, you will understand that we are grieving for someone we love very much who was a good person and we miss him terribly,” she added.
Iwi is the daughter of the late Vice President Salvador “Doy” Laurel, while Noli was the son of Fides Cuyugan-Asensio, the grand dame of the Philippine opera.
Her daughter, Nicole, shared her mother’s post with a message to those who “gossiped” about her father’s death.
“My father died with me in Makati Medical Center ER… Right beside me at his final hours… I am appalled at the yellow idiots who have gossiped and gossiped about his life and death, plotting to use his death to fuel their political schemes. Some of these yellowtards were my friends… Some are my own blood relatives,” Nicole wrote.
LP’s official color is yellow.
Nicole also posted a screenshot of her exchange with Paredes on Facebook Messenger. Paredes apologized and said that his wife’s text message to Patag was meant to be private.
Noli Asensio’s brother, Dennis, wrote a Facebook post that offered another glimpse into the circumstances behind the musician’s death. He said:
“Update on a painful journey: I talked to brother, Manuel (Noli) Asensio for the last time on Tuesday eve (US time) when he complained of fever, and pain on swallowing liquids. He was getting dizzy on standing, but would not see a doctor. Typical. From halfway around the world, by phone, egged him to go to the ER. About 6 hours later, I got a call from Makati Med ER, to inform me that Noli was in septic shock, and had gone into cardiac arrest. I went through the usual checklist of problems with the ER physician. Infection, dehydration? Yes. Heart attack? Don’t know. Potassium deficiency? No. Drugs? Not suspected. So many questions. Why? The physicians were in the 40th minute of resuscitation, and his heart was not responding. As a physician, I knew he was gone. As a brother, by phone, how could I tell them to stop trying? For his own good, I had to say, “let him rest now”. He is with God.”
Paredes then posted an apology to Iwi and Nicole on Monday, October 17. He said that his wife forwarded Segovia’s message to friends to verify the circumstances surrounding Asensio’s death.
Paredes’ post was taken down but entertainment portal PEP.ph posted his full apology in its article.
“NOTE: My wife and I had sent our apologies privately to Nicole. I am reiterating it publicly and humbly.
“Dear Nicole Asensio and Iwi Laurel,
“I am writing to once again and send my prayers and regrets for the way news of your dad had gone inadvertently wrong.
“My wife sent the message she received from Ana Segovia PRIVATELY to me and some friends. She in turn sent that message to a few people who she thought knew the asensio brothers, since she also knew them during her high school days. Barkada of Lisa and carina and bob (her cousins), who were classmates. She got that message from a viber group and wanted it confirmed.
“After you expressed your concern to me via PM about Cynthia Patag posting message publicly, I immediately called her and asked how it is that the message became public. Cynthia told me she thought it was sent to her because the sender wanted it public. Bottom line was, it was not meant to be public or even editorialized with a title “HE WAS NOT POOR.” I immediately asked her to take it out.
“A few points
- My wife and I had NO INTENTION whatsoever of politicizing your dad’s death. The message from Ana Segovia who claimed to be your relative clearly said your dad was a victim of Duterte’s war on drugs. It was ALREADY political when we received it. If we wanted to politicize it, we would have posted it publicly ourselves. It never even appeared on my wife’s timeline.
- I contacted you out of pure concern and sympathy as a friend, colleague.
- We are continuing prayers for your dad and the people he loved and cared for.
“Nicole, I wrote you PMd you on FB and sent a message on instagram and texted when I heard about the news. I was shocked. I may have known your father and played with him. During a taping in a TV show on cable, the guitarist introduced himself to me as the son of Fides. He may have been Noli. I can’t remember now. He played back up for my solo guesting. He was a nice guy who played well.
“I hope this clears the air. These are the facts. I hope people on both sides of the political fence step back, look at everything with sobriety, and allow you and your family to have your grieving moment quietly and peacefully.”
Patag, on her part, has deleted the post and addressed the issue with this Facebook post.
“This is not the time to make this about you. Or duterte,” she wrote.
(Nicole on Patag apology)