Bian appeals to spare her family from ‘attacks’

By Anthony S. Allada

DAVAO CITY – Businesswoman and second district congressional candidate Joji Ilagan-Bian has appealed 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 here 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 collegue 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 contribution 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 to allegedly paint a shady and bad image of her family to the public to cover her alleged dismal performance in congress and her reported failure to address the needs of her constituents in the district.

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 all the way behind her with son Michael, 28, taking care of the logistics and 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 challenged her critics to direct issues against her because she was the one who is running for congressman.

“I am the one running for office so your bullets must be aimed at me. I will gladly take that as opposed to seeing any family member suffer for my conviction and drive to serve,” 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.

Bian then challenged Garcia-Albano to face her squarely and not to hide from someone who would speak for her self.

“I would like to pose a challenge to Cong. Mylene Albano to a public debate in Bisaya so the ordinary people can understand. We will face each other: issue by issue. I am ready at any time at her convenience so the people will know the issue and be enlightened,” she said. (ASA)


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