FPJ berates GMA-7 reporter
- Nikko Dizon () - April 2, 2004 - 12:00am
ILOILO CITY – A taste of things to come?

Television reporter Sandra Aguinaldo got a taste of what could be the future presidential temper when she was berated by Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (KNP) standard-bearer Fernando Poe Jr. during a campaign rally in nearby Tigbauan town here yesterday.

While about to do a "stand up" for a live feed telecast for GMA-7’s "24 Oras" news program, Aguinaldo was surprised when Poe approached her from behind, thrust a microphone at her and blurted out: "Ikaw na lang kaya (why don’t you speak instead)!"

Aguinaldo later told "24 Oras" news anchor Mel Tiangco that Poe even followed it up with "Hindi nga, gusto mo ata magsalita (Why not? You seem to want to speak)?"

Aguinaldo said she was taken aback by the encounter since it happened in front of many people who had gathered to see the actor at the town gym.

She said Poe was apparently irritated by her presence on stage, which prompted the outburst.

"Nilapitan ko si FPJ (Poe) pagkatapos ng rally at sinabi niya na mali ang ginawa ko dahil yung mga tao lumilingon sa akin (I approached Poe after the rally and he told me that what I did was wrong since people were turning to look at me)," she said.

"Sabi ko ayoko naman siya agawan ng eksena. Ang sagot niya sa akin
, ‘Ang lagay, ako pa ang may kasalanan’," (I told him I didn’t mean to upstage him but he answered back with ‘Are you saying it’s all my fault’)," a teary-eyed Aguinaldo told Tiangco.

What made matters worse, Aguinaldo claimed, was that fellow TV journalist, KNP vice presidential bet Sen. Loren Legarda, and comedian and former television host and now KNP campaign manager Sen. Vicente Sotto III, sided with Poe and demanded that she apologize for supposedly distracting the actor during his speech.

A seasoned journalist, Aguinaldo stood her ground and maintained she was only doing her job.

"Sabi ko ayoko dahil wala naman akong ginawang mali. Ginagawa ko lang ang trabaho ko
(I refused (to apologize) since I did nothing wrong and was only doing my job)," she said.

Legarda and Sotto, however, insisted Aguinaldo should apologize to Poe "to end it all." Their insistence on her making an apology exacerbated the situation and made her cry.

"I felt insulted," she said in Filipino.

The KNP has yet to issue an official statement about the incident, but Sotto reportedly demanded that GMA-7 assign another reporter to cover the rest of Poe’s campaign.

Poe’s spokesman, Sorsogon Rep. Francis Escudero, was not available for comment.

Poe, a high school dropout with no political experience, has gained a reputation for being a difficult personality to cover.

He constantly shies away from interviews, and statements are made by his aides and KNP officials.

Poe reportedly threatened to punch a photographer of a foreign news agency during a recent campaign sortie in Pampanga, when the photojournalist attempted to clamber on to Poe’s vehicle.

The actor was also reported to have shouted at a journalist during Legarda’s birthday party celebration at the Century Park Hotel in Manila last Jan. 28.

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