People may have loved matinee idol Aga Muhlach in the 80s and 90s but many aren’t as thrilled about him today, especially after what he recently said about opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.
Netizens are divided over statements he made during a recent episode of the late-night talk show Gandang Gabi Vice (GGV). The clip, which was reportedly not broadcast on television, was shared by several Facebook pages yesterday.
In it, Muhlach tells Trillanes that he should just help President Rodrigo Duterte, whom the actor believes is just doing his job.
Ironically, Muhlach used to be a member of the opposition Liberal Party (LP) which many Duterte supporters blame for the country’s ills. As an LP candidate he ran — and lost — the congressional race in 2013 for the fourth district of Camarines Sur.
Judging by what he said–and this Instagram post–he now appears to have shifted alliances and is now a Duterte supporter.
Trillanes, meanwhile, is known as one of the president’s most vocal critics who is currently out on bail for rebellion after Duterte voided his amnesty given to him by former President Benigno Aquino III in 2010.
Before his arrest, Trillanes was holed up in his office at the Senate building where other lawmakers gave him sanctuary.
The senator has been a thorn on Duterte’s side even before the latter became president. Trillanes filed a plunder campaign against him back when he was mayor of Davao City. He has also consistently criticized Duterte’s bloody campaign against drugs which has left an estimated 12,000 suspects dead.
Muhlach and actress Bea Alonzo were guests in the Oct. 14 episode of GGV because they were promoting their new movie titled First Love.
Hosted by pro-Duterte comedian Vice Ganda, the episode had a segment called Tanong Mo Mukha Mo (literally “Ask Your Face”) where an image is flashed on a screen and Alonzo and Muhlach have to ask the person a question.
According to various Facebook groups supportive of the government, the clip was not included in the final version of the episode that was aired; reasons, however, are unclear.
In the clip, an image of Trillanes was flashed on a screen and the two actors were asked what they wanted to ask the senator.
Answering in Filipino, Muhlach addresses Trillanes’ photo and says: “It’s so exhausting. Why? What do you want to happen?”
Butting in, Alonzo says: “That’s my question, ‘Aren’t you exhausted?'”
Muhlach then goes back to addressing Trillanes and says: “Just help [Duterte]. No, it’s exhausting sometimes. All presidents have been criticized. This president is doing his job. A lot of people are unhappy but my point is whoever is also in power should also help [him].”
As the crowd cheers for Muhlach, Vice answers: “Collaborate.”
Muhlach, who was very popular in the 80s, then breaks into song and sings a line from Ice Ice Baby, “Stop, collaborate and listen.”
A conversation about politics that includes Vanilla Ice — only in the Philippines.
The studio crowd might have lapped up Muhlach’s opinion on Trillanes but not everyone loved what he said.
People from the Facebook group The Silent Majority, which is known for criticizing government policies, were unhappy about Muhlach’s comments. Eleanor Sabalbaro pointed out that Muhlach’s affluence makes him immune from problems that regular people face.
Over on Twitter, @JumantocNess wrote that he likes Trillanes for his integrity and honor, which he said Muhlach and Vice do not have. He also said Muhlach should just stick to being an actor.
The Reasons I like SenTri is that he got the integrity, honour and he don’t compromised which Aga and Vice Ganda obviously don’t have! Aga’s opinion belong to the trash and he should just stick to being an actor-means Hypocrites in Hebrew.
— Xaria Mattea (@JumantocNess) October 18, 2018
Those belonging in pro-government Facebook groups are naturally supportive of Muhlach.
James Argon wrote: “That’s correct. Aga should run for senator because he understands what the President is doing.”
Marty Barajas wrote: “Guys, let’s support Aga’s movie. Let’s not let the dictator Trillanes [to have his way]. Let’s bring the entire family to watch his movie. Let’s not allow the Yellows (the opposition) to bully him just because he gave his opinion.”
Muhlach has been an actor since the 1980s. While he hasn’t been as active in the entertainment business as he used to be, he’s still seen as one of the most bankable Filipino actors.
Do you think Muhlach was right in calling out Trillanes? Leave your comment below or tweet to @CoconutsManila.