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Yap lawyer to media: Leave Kris and James alone

March 22, 2013 4:40pm

The lawyer of basketball star James Yap on Thursday criticized the media for supposedly “feasting” on her client's rift with his former wife, television personality Kris Aquino, at the expense of more important news.

“This is not a case na pwedeng pagpiyestahan ng media at ng publiko,” lawyer Lorna Kapunan said in a live interview on GMA News TV's “State of the Nation.” “There are more issues of national importance.”

She lamented that the issue between Yap and Aquino has overshadowed more important news such as the inauguration of Pope Francis, the suicide of a UP Manila student supposedly over financial difficulties, and the alleged lack of humanitarian aid given to Filipinos in Sabah.

“Tell me, does that deserve more attention than this fight between Kris and James? Leave them alone! That is my appeal,” Kapunan said.

The issue started when Aquino obtained a temporary protection order from a Makati court, effectively preventing Yap from going near her and their son James Jr. (nicknamed Bimby). In response, Yap filed for a hold departure order against Aquino to bar her from going to Paris over the weekend.

Aquino, in her petition, said Yap tried to “overstep his boundaries and of attempting to seduce her while visiting her home, and of inflicting psychological harm on their son Bimby."  

Yap allegedly made sexual advances to Aquino, which turned into a heated argument in the presence of Bimby.

CMFR: Can't blame media alone

An official from media monitoring group Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) said Kapunan should not be pointing fingers, adding that Yap's camp also took advantage of the media when it called for a press conference before.

“Although valid ang kanyang criticism to a huge extent, the thing is she were part of it. So what I'm saying, 'yung mismong media subjects minsan ang nagi-instigate. So you just cannot blame the media alone,” CMFR deputy director Luis Teodoro said.

Yap earlier broke to tears at a media briefing, accusing Aquino for supposedly influencing their son to hate him.

“You have to blame din naman the people who have the stake in appearing in media,” Teodoro said.

Teodoro noted though that Kapunan has a point in saying the media “feasted” on the issue.

“This is a private thing. This should have been a private matter... Studies show that people are more interested on the things that matter to them. Pero their attention is diverted by reports like this. People want more information about things that matter to them,” he said.

Unusual and prominent personality

Teodoro noted that media covered the issue because it was about Aquino, who he described as “an unusual and prominent personality.”

“She's the daughter of Ninoy and Cory Aquino and she happened to be the sister of the President (Benigno Aquino III) and she's supposed to be a major media personality. Combination like this is enough for the media to pay close attention to,” he said.

Kapunan maintained that the issue should not be publicized for Yap and Aquino to talk matters through. “I'd like to reiterate the plea of the family of Kris. Let us leave the parties where they are. Let us allow James and Kris that space to talk to each other,” she said.

On Friday, a Makati court issued a gag order preventing both Aquino and Yap from making further public pronouncements about their ongoing problem.

Aquino on Thursday recounted to the media the supposed sexual advances against her by Yap, adding that she would resign from all her shows and go abroad.

The media personality's interview last night did not sit well with Yap's camp, which said the matter should have been discussed in court and not in the media. Marc Jayson Cayabyab/KBK, GMA News
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