Davao congressional bet appeals to her detractors:'Spare my family'

April 23, 2013 11:48 pm 

DAVAO CITY, April 23 – Businesswoman and second district congressional candidate Joji Ilagan-Bian has appealed to her political rivals to spare her immediate family from “any mudslinging and smear drive” to discredit her candidacy.

“I personally believe this is just as diversionary issue that is in no way connected with my candidacy. This is politically-motivated issue that well-informed and educated electorate does not care about,” Bian said in a read statement during a press conference at the family-owned Institute of International Culinary and Hospitality Entrepreneurship (IChef) along De Jesus Street here Tuesday noon.

She was referring to a headline story that saw print Monday in one of the local dailies quoting Acting Mayor Rodrigo Duterte tagging her husband, George, to be living with multiple estafa cases.

“(But) first of all, there is no issue between us and Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, I respect him as a person, an active leader, a friend and as a colleague in rebuilding our great city from the ruins, or what is left of it, after Martial Law and insurgency problem to what is Davao City today,” she said this just as she failed to control her tears while reading the statement.

Bian said she respected Duterte for being a titular head of "Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod" party and for exercising his obligated responsibility of campaigning in favor of all his party candidates in the second district.

“And I do hope he respects me as well as a person, and for my past and present humble contributions to the progress of the city and for exercising my constitutional right to be voted upon in a general election,” she said.

Bian said that the “diversionary issue” is no more than a theatrical gesture directed to support her rival, Rep. Mylene Garcia-Albano.

She admitted that her husband has standing estafa cases and that they have yet to be resolved and “as the law says a person is innocent until proven guilty.”

Bian said her immediate family is supporting her, with son Michael, 28, taking care of the logistics, and daughter Nicole, 24, organizing the youth.

But her husband, as much as his willingness to campaign for her, physically is facing a serious medical condition “known only to our family and close friends.”

“So I beg all of you (to) spare my husband from all these controversies. He does not deserve to be humiliated and be the ire of false accusations because my adversaries want to destroy my character and reputation,” she said.

Bian was a Datu Bago awardee of the city government way back in 1997 for her active role in the business sector and scholarship grants for poor yet deserving students in her capacity as a businesswoman.

She rose to be the chair of the Mindanao Business Council and catered the culinary needs of Mindanaoans by establishing the IChef in 2009. (PNA)

PDS/ANTHONY S. ALLADA/LDP

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