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Monday, February 22, 2010

Judy Ann Santos hits back at Jamby Madrigal

MANILA, Philippines – Judy Ann Santos felt offended by presidential candidate Sen. Maria Ana Consuelo “Jamby” Madrigal’s remarks that she regretted getting a celebrity endorser during the 2004 senatorial election.

Santos, who endorsed Madrigal then, admitted that she was hurt given that she went out of her way to campaign for Madrigal.

“I was deeply hurt. Kasi all this time I thought she sincerely got my services because she believed in me. And I also, maybe one way or another, believed in her. That's why I campaigned for her,” she told ABS-CBN News.

She added that nobody forced her to endorse Madrigal and she did it “because I wanted to do it.”

In their campaign sorties, the actress said she was able to convince some people to vote for the lawmaker. But it seemed that all her efforts went unappreciated, she noted.

“Kung naniniwala siyang hindi ako nakatulong sa kanya, it’s her opinion. Hindi ko naman ipagpipilitan ang sarili ko sa isang taong ayaw naman ng services ko,” she said.

When asked if Madrigal still has her support in this year’s elections, she said: “Ayoko na pong magsalita kasi kapag nagsalita pa ako ay lalaki lang. Mapapag-usapan pa. Sumagot lang ako dahil gusto ko lang malaman ng tao kung ano ang naramdaman ko."

Santos also declined to comment when asked how much Madrigal had paid her in exchange for her endorsement.

In her statement Tuesday, meantime, Madrigal expressed sadness over Santos’ reaction. She also apologized to the actress.

"Im sorry if I hurt her feelings pero that was not the intention at all... patuloy akong nagpapasalamat kay Judy Ann sa tulong niya noong 2004," she said.

The senator clarified that she acknowledged the efforts made by the actress during the 2004 polls. She also noted that her statements have been misinterpreted.

“Noong magdeklara ako ng kandidatura sa pagka- presidente, isa si Juday (Santos) sa iilang tao na personal kong pinasalamatan at muli akong nagpapasalamat kay Juday sa tulong niya noong 2004 senatorial campaign,” she said.

She added: "Never kong sinabing ni-regret kong ginamit ko si Judy Ann. 'Yong kino-condemn ko 'yong gumagamit ng artista at hindi nilalabas ang kanilang plataporma."

She also reiterated that presidential contenders should be judged based on their platform and not their celebrity endorsers, whose popularity tends to overshadow the competency of a candidate.

During the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s 1st presidential debate last week, Madrigal blasted fellow presidential contender, Sen. Manny Villar, for tapping children and actors in his political advertisements.

But when a panelist pointed out that she too employed the services of a celebrity to endorse her candidacy in 2004, Madrigal replied: “I have seen the folly of my ways. I will not repeat it because I do not believe you must repeat a mistake.”

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