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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

May 20, 2014

Korina Sanchez Vehemently Denies She Ever Got A Gift From Janet Napoles

KORINA SANCHEZ is elated that her “Rated K” is chosen to hook up with ABS-CBN’s first co-production venture with the giant Japanese broadcasting company, NHK. This Sunday, May 25, 8:30 PM, they will show a special segment shot on location in Japan based on NHK’s “Happy Surprise” that features ordinary people who want to surprise persons they care for. Korina went to Japan to interview Maria Christine, an OFW and single mom with two Japanese sons. They arranged to meet in a temple.

Little did Maria Christine know that she’s been set up to be surprised by a flash mob of dancers arranged by her own 23-year old popular sumo wrestler son, Masunoyama, who wants to pay tribute to her and show her his love and gratitude. NHK arranged with ABS for this project and the segment will also be shown later in NHK’s “Happy Surprises”.

“I was astounded when I got to the set because NHK has set up no less than 11 cameras all over the place to cover the whole thing,” says Korina. “Their preparation is really amazing. I was there to distract Maria Christine so she won’t suspect anything. But pati ako, nasorpresa with the sight of a flash mob of half-naked men in sumo wrestling costumes dancing together. Talagang naiyak si Maria Christine sa ginawa ng anak niya para sa kanya. Everyone cried, even comedian Ya Chang, who coordinated the whole thing. It’s very touching.”

Previous to this, “Happy Surprise” also featured the story of a Filipina nurse, Ivy Beldad, who passed the licensure exam in Japan and the first ever foreigner and Filipino to be featured in the show. Watch out for Ivy’s life story when it’s featured soon in “Maalaala Mo Kaya”.

ABS-CBN business unit head Linggit Tan says this is just the start of their collraboration with NHK. “TV is a global medium and we need to expand by getting into the bigger Asian market to boost our content and be recognized globally,” she says.

NHK officials who were presented by ABS-CBN in a special presscon said this collaboration is their first with a foreign company and is a landmark moment for their own company. We tell them they can also feature the stories of Filipinos who hit it big in Japan like actress Ruby Moreno and singer Marilyn de la Pena, or even Japanese businessman-actor Jacky Woo who produced so many movies in Manila, some of which are acclaimed in film festivals abroad. There’s indeed a lot of possibilities since there are millions of OFW’s working now in Japan, including the daughter of PJ columnist Aster Amoyo, Aila Reyes, who is now based there.

Going back to Korina, she was implicated in the list of Janet Napoles and ABS officially issued an official statement supporting her, which partly says: “We believe that the allegation that came out in the Philippine Daily Inquirer was baseless and unsupported. The shown statement of the person named to have allegedly brought the gift to Korina had also denied participation in this alleged gift giving. We fully support Korina Sanchez as our news organization remains committed to uphold the highest standards of professionalism, integrity and ethics in news reporting.”

Korina herself says: “I only met Janet Napoles and her family in late 2013 after having been assigned to interview the Napoles family, after the news had broken about the alleged PDAF scam. I had never met Ms. Napoles nor had any association with her, her family, her employees or associates before then, nor after my interview with her. I am astounded to learn that I was supposed to have once received a birthday gift from her 10 years ago in 2004. This never happened. I am dismayed that such an unsubstantiated lie like such as this should be given much attention.” So there.