Toni Gonzaga brushed aside recurring criticisms about her outright support for presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.
During the UniTeam campaign rally of Marcos Jr. and vice presidential bet Sara “Inday” Duterte-Carpio in Cavite last March 22, Gonzaga addressed online attempts to “cancel” her, a pop culture terminology that has been used when the public becomes disenchanted with a popular personality usually following a controversy.
“Sa UniTeam hindi uso ang cancel culture. Ang buhay na buhay sa UniTeam… Filipino culture!” Gonzaga said on stage.
Gonzaga has received criticisms after she hosted the March 8 UniTeam proclamation rally of Marcos Jr. and Duterte in Bulacan.
Days after the rally, Gonzaga stepped down as host of the Pinoy Big Brother after 16 years. She has also received criticisms, and also support, from personalities in the showbiz industry due to her political stance.
But prior to the proclamation rally, Gonzaga was also criticized for her interwiew with Marcos Jr. that many noted threw softball questions at the subject that painted his father, former dictator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in a positive light, while ignoring the Martial Law context where many Filipinos died and suffered.
Marcos Jr. later on came to the defense of Gonzaga.
During the Cavite rally, Gonzaga said her heart has no room for hate.
“Kung ang puso ng iba ay punung puno ng galit, ang puso nating lahat punung puno ng pagmamahal at pag-unawa,” she said.
Kapag alam ninyo ang katotohanan, hinding hindi kayo kayang sirain ng kasinungalingan.
Gonzaga also addressed comments that she is a “bayaran” or a “paid” propagandist.
“Simula po nang tumayo ako sa entablado ng UniTeam ang tawag ng lahat, bayad daw po ako. Bayad po ba kayo?” Gonzaga said, to which the crowd erupted in response, “Hindi kami bayad!”
The celebrity endorser then said she emulates Marcos Jr. who have chosed not to reply to criticisms against him. Marcos Jr. has indeed skipped several presidential debates, namely the KBP Presidential Candidates Forum last Feb. 3, the CNN Philippines Presidential Debates last Feb. 26, and the first Comelec Presidential Debates last March 19. Marcos Jr. also skipped the Jessica Soho Presidential Interviews last January, saying that the host was biased. GMA-7 took exception to Marcos Jr.'s statement.
“Kaya po katulad ni BBM, hindi po natin dapat pinapatulan ang mga ganiyang bagay dahil kapag alam ninyo ang katotohanan, hinding hindi kayo kayang sirain ng kasinungalingan,” said Gonzaga.
“Kaya naman po sa lahat ng nang-aaway sa inyo, nangungutya sa inyo, pinpintasan ninyo, katulad ni BBM, wag na po tayong lumaban, patuloy tayong magpakumbaba dahil katulad ni BBM, laging nagpapakumbaba, kaya naman si BBM lalong tumataas,” said Gonzaga.