‘I never, NOT EVER, cursed the Philippines,’ says Broadway actress Lea Salonga

<i>Photo: Lea Salonga / FB</i>
Photo: Lea Salonga / FB

After being subjected to a barrage of criticisms, Broadway actress Lea Salonga last night cleared the air to say that the explicit words she wrote online was “an outburst” that wasn’t directly aimed at the country.

C’mon guys, does she really need to spell it out?

The controversy started last week when Salonga wrote on Facebook in Filipino, “Dear Philippines, f**k, you’re hard to love.”

And while she didn’t say what it was she was frustrated about in the now-deleted post, she said in a comment underneath that she wanted to think that fixing the system in the country was possible “albeit difficult. But we may now be beyond that point.”

Salonga’s post appeared on the same day that Rappler founder Maria Ressa, along with writer Reynaldo Santos Jr. were convicted of cyberlibel over a 2012 article which alleged that businessman Wilfredo Keng loaned vehicles to the late former Chief Justice Renato Corona, who was impeached for undeclared wealth.

Salonga for her part, stands firm about her frustrations, though a lot of people misunderstood where it was directed.

“Regarding the post itself, yes I stand by every single word I wrote as an expression of my frustration with certain events currently taking place in our country. However, contrary to what some of you might believe, I never, NOT EVER, cursed the Philippines,” she said in a series of tweets.

“So, to further clarify, I didn’t say f- you. If that was what I meant, I would’ve been explicit in my expression. My f- it was aimed at no one in particular, and was used only as an outburst, a cry,” she said and apologized to people who were hurt by her choice of words.

“If after following this post you still decide to cuss me out, you’re well within your right to do so. I totally understand and get that you’re doing it as one tasked to protect our country from anyone that dares to desecrate it. Know though that that was not my intent,” she added.

Read: ‘Keep your arse at home’: Lea Salonga calls out people for using their cellphones during show

Salonga has always been outspoken about the Philippines’ state of affairs. In a conversation with fellow The Voice judge Nyoy Volante online about the anti-terrorism bill, Salonga wrote, “Criticism of one’s government shouldn’t be considered an expression of hatred, but one of love and a desire to see the country succeed.”

“I would like to think that in a functioning democracy this should not be anyone’s fear, that their criticism would land them in jail, or worse, a corpse lying on a curb.”

The proposed Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, which now only awaits President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature before being passed into law, mandates that an Anti-Terror Council may designate any individual, group of persons, or organization as terrorists if they find “probably cause.” The said “terrorists” can also be detained for up to 24 hours without a warrant before being presented to a judicial authority.

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