MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Ivana Alawi clarified the rumors surrounding her alleged connection with Bacolod City Mayor Albee Benitez on Saturday, February 10.
The actress-vlogger first considered remaining silent, but after her mother and sister were subjected to nasty remarks, she felt compelled to refute the claims.
“I tried to stay quiet at dumedma na lang dahil sa paniniwala ko na hindi ako dapat magsalita lalo kapag alam ko na wala akong ginagawang masama,” she said.
“But because of the false accusations and hurtful words that are being thrown to my Mom and Mona, kinailangan ko nang linawin ang mga bagay,” she continued.
“Hindi po ako ang nasasabing girlfriend ni Mayor Albee Benitez,” she said. “I met him when I had work in Bacolod. He was very accommodating and friendly. At hindi lang sya ang politikong nakilala ko at naging kaibigan.”
“I am currently seeing someone who makes me happy. All I can say is that he is a respectable businessman and not a politician,” she said. “Sana, this helps clear my name and clarify all rumors. Maraming salamat.”
Alawi made her post when it was speculated that she and Benitez were dating. Perceptive online users had seen the two of them together when visiting Japan and Baguio.
Citing unnamed sources, entertainment expert Ogie Diaz confirmed the reports of Alawi and Benitez’s appearances.
Meanwhile, Bacolod City Mayor Albee Benitez used social media to correct misinformation about actress Ivana Alawi.
Friday, February 11, Benitez posted a statement on Facebook stating that “speculations involving Ms. Ivana Alawi are untrue and only serve to put malice into what was clearly a chance encounter.”
The mayor also apologized to “Ms Alawi and her family, who have been unfairly dragged into issues concerning my private life.”
His full statement:
“I am fully aware of the video footage that has been circulating which unfortunately does not accurately explain why I was in Tokyo. I went there on a business trip as stated in my official travel order.”
“I apologize to Ms Alawi and her family who have been unfairly dragged into issues concerning my private life.
“There is no truth to any and all the rumors spreading and I am setting the record straight to avoid further hurt and damage to them. Maraming salamat po.”
“As for recent personal matters, I kindly request understanding and respect for privacy to shield all innocent parties involved.”
“In my private capacity as a film and TV program producer, my professional interaction with various celebrities is inherent to the nature of the business.”
“At this moment, my primary focus is on safeguarding the interests of Bacolod City. – Mayor Albee Benitez.”