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Jobert Sucaldito apologizes to Nadine Lustre for controversial remark on suicide; celebrities react

The apology came after Ging Reyes, head of ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs, issued a statement regarding Sucaldito’s tirade against Nadine.

Showbiz columnist and radio host Jobert Sucaldito on Wednesday, January 8, issued a public apology to actress Nadine Lustre for his remark that the Kapamilya star should have jumped off a building.

“I would like to apologize to Ms. Nadine Lustre and to those who got bothered by that sa aspetong ito,” Sucaldito said in a statement that was aired on DZMM following a wave of criticism.

“I am also apologizing to my radio network DZMM for putting them in discomfort because of this,” he added.

The apology came after Ging Reyes, head of ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs, issued a statement regarding Sucaldito’s tirade against Nadine.

“We in ABS-CBN take the issue of mental health very seriously. This was even the subject of a recent documentary that we produced,” Reyes said.

‘We are investigating reports that DZMM host Jobert Sucaldito uttered inappropriate and insensitive comments regarding actress Nadine Lustre’s state of mental health. Our journalists and other members of our team are accountable for their on-air statements,” she added.

Sucaldito made the suicide-related remark on his late-night radio program Showbuzz on Tuesday.

At first, Sucaldito said Nadine’s reaction to Philippine Star entertainment editor Ricky Lo’s column titled JaDine breakup: A case of too much, too soon? was disrespectful.

“You are wrong here. Unang-una, gusto namin ipaalala sa inyo lahat na mga fans ng JaDine, hindi kami ang may pakulo ng lahat ng ito. Wala kaming alam sa mga buhay ng mga idols ‘nyo. Sila ang gawa-gawa ng kuwento na ang mali namin pinatulan namin kaya medyo lumaki at pinag-uusapan,” he said, referring to the actress and her fans.

“‘Di ba iyon naman ang gusto nila? Kuno-kuno na may mga labas ng puwet, naka T-back pa doon sa building, tapos may mga nakalagay na caption na parang gustong tumalon sa building. Sana tumalon na lang kung ganun din naman pala,” he added.

Sucaldito also insisted that Lo did not deserve the actress’ sarcasm because he “has gained that reputation, that respect, dignity as a journalist” since he has spent almost all his life in the entertainment industry.

Sucaldito said Lo deserves an apology from the actress.

He then posted a long message for Nadine on his Facebook account, where he said that while he adored the actress, she had a lot to learn.

It can be recalled that Nadine said Lo’s article, where he said that her longtime boyfriend James Reid was “handling the breakup with care” to supposedly “cushion” its supposed impact on Nadine “who has admitted grappling with mental illness (he [sic] had a brother who committed suicide),” was “so low.”

The “he” supposedly referred to Nadine, who denied everything that the veteran columnist wrote, including her breakup with James.

“It’s never okay to use someone’s mental situation or tragic past just to prove a point. Mental illness is a very sensitive matter,” she posted on her Instagram.

As Sucaldito’s on-air tirade against the actress made the rounds on social media, #SuicideIsNotAJokeJobert trended on Twitter.

Netizens, including showbiz personalities and mental health advocates, cried foul over Sucaldito’s flippant remarks on suicide.

“Making light of suicide and mental illness is not funny and should not be tolerated,” TV host Bianca Gonzalez said.

“WE NEED TO STOP JOKING ABOUT MENTAL ILLNESS,” film director Antoinette Jadaone tweeted.

“I interviewed Nadine Lustre on #ANCHeadstart last year. She was brave enough to share about her period of depression & the crisis she went through. She is a smart, deep & passionate person. Jokes about mental health aren’t funny & should not be tolerated,” said broadcast journalist Karen Davila.

“Irresponsible talagang journalist si Ricky Lo. Well, hindi nga pala siya journalist, ni wala siyang maayos na command sa language,” poet and screenwriter Jerry Gracio tweeted.

“Oh god these two showbiz journalists! They totally missed the point! It’s not even about where the ‘news’ came from, the issue is about how Ricky Lo used mental illness as an anchor for his argument and dragging nadine’s brother, anobayan!” fashion photographer BJ Pascual said.

“Thanks for bringing this to our attention. That is extremely insensitive, Jobert Sucaldito, (@JOBERTdzmmMIZMO)! Please never treat suicide as a joke or worse provoke someone to kill themselves.
DO NOT CROSS THAT LINE. Let’s educate ourselves about this issue, pls. We can talk,” tweeted mental health advocate Roy D.

“May RA 11036 na po. Discrimination is punished under the Mental Health law, especially if it is done on such a public platform. Nadine doesn’t deserve this. No one does. Pwede ba, umayos tayo?!” said movie director Kip Oebanda.

Under the Republic Act 11036 or the Mental Health Act, penalties for violators of this law are meted out the penalty of imprisonment of six months to two years, or a fine of P10,000 to P200,000, or both, for acts such as the failure to secure informed consent of an individual with mental health conditions, violation of the patient’s confidentiality of information, discrimination against a person with a mental health condition and administering inhumane, cruel, degrading or harmful treatment not based on medical or scientific evidence.

Written by Angelle De Leon

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