Already brooding over an actress’s drowning death, the public has turned its fury on her mother today after she announced she has accepted compensation from those linked to her daughter’s death.
The latest twist in the case gripping the 70 million-strong nation came with Panida Siriyudthayothin, the mother of Nida “Tangmo” Patcharaveerapong, saying she has forgiven two of those with her daughter when she died in exchange for at least THB30 million (US$920,000).
“I strongly believe money can buy everything, and today, I still believe so, because money can also buy the motherhood of a certain someone,” singer-actress Jennifer Kim wrote on Instagram.
As Lawyer Sittra Biabungkerd wrote in the lakorn-worthy trope that has become the national sentiment:
“I feel sad for Tangmo. Has anyone ever sincerely loved her without any benefit? Even after she died, there are still people looking to gain something.”
“Disappointed,” the late actress’ own brother wrote in a single word post after his mother’s appearance.
Tangmo fell and drowned in the Chao Phraya River one week ago today; her body wasn’t found until Saturday.
Panida appeared on Channel 3 today to say she has forgiven two of the people who were on the speedboat and have fallen under suspicion: Danupat “Por” Lerttaweewit and Paiboon “Robert” Trikanjananun.
Danupat has been charged with operating an unlicensed vessel. Paiboon is rumored to have caused the boat to lose control, costing Tangmo her balance, after which she was cut by the propeller as she fell into the water.
Panida said Danupat had called her and offered THB30 million.
“Por is a very polite man. He was always calling me, crying every day, and I will be receiving compensation for her passing. He told me to calculate Tangmo’s income, that if she were to star in lakorn for 800,000 to 1 million baht each series, and were she alive for 30 more years, she would probably earn more than this amount.”
Panida has been demanding justice even before her daughter’s body was found, saying foul play was involved from the start. Today, she said her forgiveness of those possibly responsible should not affect the ongoing case.
That said, the justice system traditionally takes a favorable view of those who reach settlement agreements.
Of course, the public was widely displeased by her decision.
“If I were to think stupidly, who would be willing to pay 30 million baht if they didn’t do anything wrong?” Pattcodax said in a tweet.
“Can everyone please stand up and say boooooo,” Twitter user Thaionlyyy wrote. “Her mother has financial problems to the point that she has to side with those responsible for her daughter’s death?”
“Your daughter has been dead for many days now, she hasn’t had an attorney to defend her, but there is time to think about the money she would have made?” Whitchy7 tweeted.
Public frustration has mounted in anticipation that the authorities will once again find a way to excuse the wrongdoing of the wealthy and influential.
The police have said throughout the week that a public update on the case was forthcoming. As of late Friday afternoon, no briefing has occurred, drawing the usual accusations of incompetence.
The authorities have been questioning additional witnesses. They reportedly interviewed Tangmo’s close friend, singer Surattanavee “Bo” Pattaranukool, for six hours last night.