Following major backlash from the public after her controversial remarks about activist Reina Mae Nasino, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) spokesperson Celine Pialago appears to now be playing the victim.
Nasino is currently facing charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives, which her camp denies. She gave birth to her daughter River who died at 3 months old due to acute respiratory distress syndrome last October 9.
Pialago, on her official Facebook page, tried to persuade people into lessening their sympathizing for Nasino which backfired on her big time.
“Kaya iyong mga sumisimpatiya kay Reina Mae Nasino, pag-aralan ‘nyo mabuti ang dahilan bakit siya nakulong at kilalanin ‘nyong mabuti kung sino siya sa lipunan,” she said.
“Masyado ninyong ginagawang pang-drama serye sa hapon ang paghihinagpis niya. Tigilan ‘nyo!” she added.
Her comment was branded insensitive so she later apologized to those who were offended, especially mothers. But she did not take back the “drama serye” part because some she thinks some people took advantage of the situation.
More attacks against her came after she requested the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to crack down on those who spread negative and false information about her.
“Titingnan ko kung malalim yung epekto sa akin… ‘Yung mga bagay po na personal lalo na po yung walang katotohanan at hindi naman nila alam yung buong story yan magfa-file po ako ng case diyan. Iko-consult ko po yan sa NBI kung anong pwede kong gawin,” she told ABS-CBN News.
“[K]apag nilalabas na nila ay false information I will really seek help from NBI lalo na yung mga mapanirang puri dahil kawawa din yung mga private individuals na nadadamay,” she said.
To many, her action is an attempt to make herself look like the victim in a situation of her own making, and many can see right through it.
Tonyo Cruz of Manila Bulletin made fun of the MMDA spokesperson.
“Kawawa naman si Celine Pialago. Siya ang totoong biktima, hindi yung mga Pilipino na pinagkaitan ng hustisya. Kawawa naman ang ambisyon nyang daigin si Ronald Cardema.”
— Celine Pialago, probably
— Tonyo Cruz (@tonyocruz) October 19, 2020
Her strategy is so obvious that it’s not even funny.
You don’t get to play the victim here. https://t.co/fFtegFQP2F
— JC Punongbayan (@jcpunongbayan) October 19, 2020
Actress Liza Soberano is obviously a better role model than Pialago, according to former Bayan Muna congressman Teddy Casiño.
Be a Liza in a world of Celines.
— Teddy Casiño (@teddycasino) October 19, 2020
One netizen likened Pialago to that one classmate who plays the victim when the teacher is around to make everyone else look bad.
Pialago is the bitch classmate trying to make everyone bad from the teacher and when everyone is hating her, she made herself the victim. https://t.co/aJFGLrdeHQ
— WAZAFF!? (@whatzapItsmezap) October 19, 2020
One netizen is amazed at how Pialago tried switching the issue’s narrative.
Why is Celine Pialago playing the victim now? Wasn't she the first to attack baby River's family?
— jay garcia (@bebemomoy) October 19, 2020
Pialago should be ashamed of herself, said one netizen.
Hindi ba sya nahihiya.. Sya yong una kumuda ngayon nagsusubong sa NBI.. Hindi sya ang biktima dto.. minsan wag masyado kuda ng kuda ms celine pialago https://t.co/koRRqVF0KJ
— Emiliana (@emiliaagoncillo) October 19, 2020
Another issue that arose last Sunday was about her having 70 administrators working on her Facebook page that had people asking whether taxpayer’s money was being used to fund them.
Pialago later said that her brother, whom she says was the one who commented about the page having that number of admins, made an “honest mistake.”
She clarified that her page only has seven admins and they are not funded by taxpayer’s money.
The MMDA and Malacañang meanwhile have distanced themselves from Pialago.
In a press briefing, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said her comments have nothing to do with the agency, and that she is entitled to her own opinion.
“Tingin ko po personal na opinyon niya iyan. Hindi naman po iyan related sa MMDA iyang issue na iyan. Hayaan po natin na magkaroon ng personal na opinyon si spokesperson Pialago,” he said.
MMDA general manager Jojo Garcia agreed with Roque in the same press briefing.