By ROWENA JOY A. SANCHEZ
MANILA, Philippines – Members of the Philippine Azkals accused of committing rape have all taken the “no comment” stance in the face of recent revelations made by their purported victim, model Amanda Coling.
“I have no comment on anything. All of that is nonsense to me right now. I don’t even care for it. I don’t listen to anything that comes out of her mouth,” said Anton del Rosario in an interview aired on “The Buzz,” July 31.
The team’s goalkeeper, Neil Etheridge, gave a curt “no comment” when queried about the issue.
“I just want to talk about the game. I’ve no comment on that. We’re obviously disappointed right now. We don’t need to talk about that,” a quite annoyed Simon Greatwich said, referring to the Azkals’ loss to Kuwait’s Al-Azraq during their July 29 game for the second round of the World Cup qualifiers.
In Coling’s interview with “The Buzz” last July 24, she claimed to have been acquainted with Greatwich and Etheridge since 2009, and even went as far as saying, “Mag-close friends ata sila eh, so parang si Neil, nag-give way na lang to Simon… parang nagdidiska-diskarte, parang ganun.”
As for del Rosario and their other teammate Jason Sabio, Coling said she had only met them on June 2 this year, the date of the alleged rape incident.
And while she has used several “no comment” responses in other previous interviews, Coling’s legal counsel Apollo Sangalang answered on her behalf “may nangyari,” when host Boy Abunda about the relevance of the date June 2.
Despite Coling’s latest claims, the Azkals has no plans of getting back at her.
“She hasn’t done anything, so… what’s there to do anything about? We’re just happy we got our game over with,” said del Rosario in the same July 31 interview on “The Buzz.”
Another one of their teammates, James Younghusband, maintained that the Azkals has remained focused on their matches despite the furor that the whole sex violence controversy has generated.
“We’re okay when we went away, which I think was good for the team, [to] get away from Manila, go to Bahrain and Kuwait when that thing was brought up. I think the players carried it well and were very professional by the whole thing,” said Younghusband.
Rob Gier, meanwhile, brushed off the whole brouhaha as “gossip.”
“People talk about this kind of stuff all the time… When people are popular, this kind of stuff happens. We don’t lose sleep over it, we don’t waste our breaths talking about it,” said he.
Although Coling hasn't sought legal action—saying she simply wants to live life peacefully—Abunda related during the post-report live discussion on “The Buzz” that her camp has gotten in touch with a women’s rights group.
“I got a text message, I think from Atty. Apollo, the lawyer of Amanda Coling, na puwede nang sabihin na sila’y nakikipag-ugnayan… sa Gabriela. I got this text message kahapon. Because I was not allowed to mention this in my interview last week. Kung anuman ang kanilang pinag-usapan, hindi po natin alam…” said the TV host.
16 hours ago