Malacañang is not in the mood to engage retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz in a “Chika Minute” discussion of the rumored plan of President Benigno Aquino III’s youngest sister to run for public office in 2016.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda flatly denied rumors that actress and TV host Kris Aquino had her eyes on the vice presidential office.
At a press briefing in the Palace on Wednesday, Lacierda, though not mentioning Cruz by name, referred to the retired head of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan and former president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) as a “rumormonger” for urging Kris’ camp to clarify reports that she planned to run for the second highest public office in the land in 2016.
“This is now ‘Chika Minute,’” Lacierda said, referring to the show biz segment of a GMA 7 news program, when asked by the INQUIRER to comment on Cruz’s statement.
“I don’t want to talk about (it). Some people, as they grow old, become elder statesmen; some people when they grow old become rumormongers. I don’t know why,” Lacierda said.
As for the political ambitions of Kris, also known as the “Queen of Talk” of local TV, Lacierda said: “We’d rather not talk about that because, primarily, I have not discussed anything with Ms Kris Aquino. Let’s allow Kris Aquino to live peacefully.”
Cruz said Kris should clarify the spreading reports about her political plans, especially after she announced last month that she was quitting show business to study law.
Cruz said he had been hearing about Kris’ political plans from “credible sources within the administration” as early as three months ago.
“Formerly, it was only in whispers. Now, it has become more commonly said and heard that the youngest sister of the President of the Republic will also run as vice president of the Republic in 2016,” Cruz said in an interview on Tuesday.
“Those concerned better address this matter. If it is not true, then they should say it so that it will stop once and for all. If there is silence, that means there is consent,” he added.
When the INQUIRER prodded Lacierda to shed light on the 2016 plans of the 42-year-old Kris—Kristina Bernadette Cojuangco Aquino in real life and referred to by some columnists as Kristeta—the Palace spokesperson said it was best for the country to give Kris “some space” following the much-publicized spat with her estranged husband, professional basketball player James Yap, last month.
Kris had sought a temporary protection order from a court against Yap after he supposedly made sexual advances on her when he visited her apartment in December, a claim vehemently denied by Yap who shed tears when he said in a TV interview that she was actually trying to drive a wedge between him and their son, James Carlos, or Bimby.
Unperturbed, Kris, along with her sisters, faced the cameras, too.
She tearfully vowed—for the second time in about three years—that she was leaving show business for good.
Not worth a comment
Kris and Bimby are currently in Paris.
“She has made a decision . . . to be at peace, to live quietly, so let’s allow her some space,” Lacierda said.
After saying Cruz was gossiping, Lacierda added: “I hope that the good bishop will not engage in ‘chika’ (gossip). We have no comment on that. Sorry. It is not something that is (worth a comment from us).”
Told that Cruz’s statement might have emanated from earlier statements of Kris that she might run for the Senate after her brother’s presidential term ends in 2016, Lacierda said: “I have no comment on that because … that was a statement that she issued and whatever her plans are I’m not aware of (them).”