Sen. Robin defends Coco Martin

February 17, 2023 PS Jun M. Sarmiento 499 views

FAMOUS action star Coco Martin found an ally in the Senate after Senator Robinhood Padilla said the actor should not be castigated for playing his role in the teleserye film “Batang Quiapo.”

According to Padilla, who was an actor himself turned senator, Coco Martin is very apologetic and even went to his office to make sure that people, specifically the Muslims, will understand that it was just a portrayal of a character that is not meant to hurt nor degrade other people.

“I wish to give a statement regarding the Feb. 14 episode of the teleserye ‘Batang Quiapo’ that raised concerns from our fellow Filipinos, particularly our Muslim community. One scene involved ‘Tanggol,’ the character played by Coco Martin, who was chased by police after stealing a necklace in Quiapo. In the scene, the character fled toward a residential building occupied by a group of Muslims led by Manong Rez Cortez. I understand that our Muslim brethren were hurt by the scene that portrayed Muslims consenting to a theft in addition to the showing of religious images such as the Golden Mosque, adhan (call to prayer), and garments used by Muslims in prayer.

I wish to make clear that Islam strictly forbids any form of theft, or the consent thereof. Such acts are haram, or a major offense. That said, I also wish to let you know that Coco Martin personally went to my office at the Senate to explain his side over the controversial scene,” Padilla explained.

Batang Quiapo was a big hit in 1986, played by action star Fernando Poe Jr. and co-star Maricel Soriano.

Following the success of the television adaptation of “Ang Probinsiyano”, Batang Quiapo has decided to replace the series, led by Coco Martin again.

Padilla confirmed that Coco Martin went to see him and explained that the actor’s motive is not to disgrace the Islam belief nor to offend the Muslims.

“I listened to his explanation and felt his sincerity – as an actor-director to a fellow actor-director in apologizing to all who may have been hurt. My dear brethren, I assure you that Mr. Coco Martin’s intentions are pure, and I am sure he had no ill intentions toward anyone. He admitted that he has much to learn about Islam. Thus, instead of criticizing his shortcomings, I appeal to you to understand him. For their part, the people behind ‘Batang Quiapo’ have promised to be more sensitive in portraying various sectors of society, especially images of culture, tradition, and religion,” Padilla said.

At the same time, Padilla asked that various sectors and industries also do their part in correcting the ugly stereotype of Muslims and the Islam faith, insisting that it is high time to improve and educate the viewers who are also entitled to know the truth.

“Truly, the Muslim community in Manila, particularly Quiapo, is rich in tradition. My prayer is for all our sectors and industries to do their part to end this ugly stereotype of Muslims and the Islam faith, In sha Allah. To my Muslim brethren, In sha Allah, may this episode provide us with a golden opportunity to improve awareness of the Islam faith that is rooted in peace, the goodness of God, and goodness to our fellows,” he said.

“My brethren, sometimes unwanted things happen. It may look bad at first, but it can be considered an opportunity for us to show people the right teachings of Islam. Let us not find fault with our brethren who are not Muslim and who are not aware of our faith. Instead, let us embrace them and talk to them, so they will know what Islam is,” Padilla added.