Funny and sad, it is published in the Showbiz section of GMA News.
Amanda Coling’s statement about an Azkals ‘incident’
07/19/2011 | 11:27 PM
Posted by Atty. Apollo X.C.S Sangalang
Lawyer of Amanda Coling
July 19, 2011
My client, who is known to most by her screen name, Amanda Coling, is trying to find in her heart forgiveness for what has been done to her more than a month ago, specifically on June 2, 2011. Since then, she has moved on with her life, making a decent living as a freelance commercial model and events host in order to support her family.
Amanda Coling. GMANews.TV
It was her intent to just suffer in silence but subsequent events have forced her to surface.
On or about June 6, a purported reporter from a major newspaper somehow learned of her mobile phone number and started requesting an interview regarding the incident. He claimed that he got the lead from someone connected to the group involved. Fearing that this was a setup, she declined and avoided him. The reporter, however, kept on encouraging her to speak out and press charges. Confused, she consulted a militant women’s organization and then with a public attorney, but it only strengthened her resolve to remain silent. Be that as it may, she lived in constant fear that the June 2 incident would become the next big scandal in the Philippines.
Several days later, friends informed her that in a certain news program of a major TV network, Amanda Coling was named as the woman in an alleged gang rape video scandal with some members of a very popular sports team. Soon, media people started calling and texting her for confirmation and interviews. She did not confirm or deny. And she again declined all requests for interviews.
Some of the reporters suggested that she hire a publicist or a lawyer. But she does not know or trust the people being referred to her. This finally prompted her to seek my legal advice and representation on or about July 12, 2011.
When she first brought up the matter to me, she told me that I am the only lawyer she trusts. She was straightforward in saying that she could not afford my fees. So I offered to help her as a friend. She was obviously sleepless. She said she felt harassed and very scared, primarily due to apparent pressure from some friends and media people encouraging her to take immediate legal action and call for a press conference.
I listened to her story. She sounded honest to me, but very confused. I believe her. I asked whom else she confided with about the incident. She answered that the only persons she consulted were the one from the militant women’s group in Quezon City and the public attorney from Makati City Hall. She also remembered calling TV celebrity friends of her for help on the day itself, June 2, and thereafter, sharing her ordeal with a close friend.
Since I was flying out of town for a pre-scheduled vacation, I advised her not to talk about her story with anyone else and to say “no comment” to anything related to the June 2 incident, until I return and study all the angles.
It is unfortunate that on July 13, Amanda was abruptly informed that she will no longer be allowed to participate in the production number for a major victory event of a well-known men’s magazine. She was also told that she would be removed from the roster of sexy model endorsers for a leading contraceptive brand. The reason being that the management found out that she was being linked to a scandal involving the Azkals, and they are afraid of negative publicity.
The loss of her job, income, and career opportunities was too much for her to handle. It pushed her to seek redress thru the media which she initially avoided. She had no intention to stir up the issue but she could not understand why she had to become a victim all over again, when she was trying to hold her peace. She granted media interviews to protest the unfair treatment she got from the events organizer.
For the record, she has no axe to grind against the Azkals as a team. In fact, she openly supports Team Azkals and continues to wish them great success and glory in their upcoming games. She also has nothing against the men’s magazine and the contraceptive brand. She actually wishes them more business successes. This was precisely the point she was trying to make in her media interviews and TV appearances. She was trying to send out positivity and peace to everyone. She was extending love as a way of countering the prejudice that she experienced. Unfortunately, the message got drowned out sensationalism and cynicism.
I am sure that a lot of us will find it hard to understand the real person behind Amanda Coling because she is not the victim stereotype. Yes, she still experiences pain, agony, suffering and anger. But she doesn’t despair, at least not for long. She shifts, bounces back, and moves forward quickly, sometimes too soon. Insofar as the June 2 and July 14 incidents are concerned, she has no vindictiveness or vengefulness in her heart. And because of this, she is and will be misunderstood. She told me that she’s been getting a lot of threats and hate messages and feedback in the media and Internet, but she forgives them.
She fervently hopes that the issue that involves her and certain individuals, will not be blown out of proportion, nor should it cause additional grief and harassment to her and to the others affected. Although she is a model and attracted to the limelight, it is never her intention to seek publicity at the expense of others. Neither did she speak out to cause divisiveness, or to promote negativity. What really happened on June 2, 2011, she would rather forget than remember. The way she was treated on July 13 is already behind her. To set the record straight, she never specifically named, identified, or blamed anyone as liable or responsible, despite attempts by certain entities to put words into her mouth. It is highly unfair to subject anyone to trial by publicity. Everyone has a family or a loved one to protect, as well as dignity to uphold, whatever status one may have in society.
She believes that everyone makes mistakes and deserves second chances. She is therefore open to accepting an apology from the concerned parties, provided that they are sincere and willing to mend their ways. Regardless, she knows that the universal Law of Karma will eventually serve poetic justice in favor of the deserving consistent with her Rosicrucian beliefs.
Given the foregoing premises and after discussing again with my client the possible ramifications of the issues, it is still her decision to defer whatever legal action is appropriate to take under the circumstances in order to give all parties, including herself, ample time and opportunity to reflect, meditate and pray for enlightenment and discernment. She prays that, if she ever decides to take legal action, it would not be for the wrong reasons, and that it will not become a circus.
On behalf of Amanda Coling, I thank you for your patience, respect and understanding.
Atty. Apollo X.C.S Sangalang
Lawyer of Amanda Coling
July 19, 2011