Bilang kapwa singer, hiningan si Gary Valenciano ng opinyon tungkol sa kinasangkutang video scandal ni Jim Paredes.
Noong April 1, April Fools' Day, naging usap-usapan sa social media ang private video ng dating miyembro ng Apo Hiking Society.
Noong una’y itinanggi niya ito at sinabing "fake," subalit inako rin niya ito kinabukasan, April 2.
Sa pamamagitan ng kanyang blog, inamin ng veteran singer ang pagkakamali at humingi ng paumanhin.
Pag-amin ni Jim, "The video was real. It was private, and not meant for public consumption. I do not know how it became public.”
Sa ginanap na press conference para sa pagbabalik ni Gary sa U.S. concert scene ngayong April 2019, sa pamamagitan ng kanyang He’s Back: Gary V. U.S. Tour, tinanong siya tungkol sa video scandal na kinasangkutan ni Jim.
Maingat na pahayag ni Mr. Pure Energy, “You know, I can never look at anybody regardless of what he or she has done and then judge them based on that.
“Kasi, lahat ng mga reactions ng mga tao, lahat ng ginagawa ng mga tao, whatever people do, whatever I do, there are many, many other things kung bakit nagkakaganun ang isang tao.
“So ako, pati yung mga criminal naman, dapat nabibigyan ng tamang proseso para malaman kung guilty o hindi.
“Pero kahit na guilty ang isang tao, with me kasi, ang dami-raming beses ko nang naging guilty sa iba’t ibang dahilan, but I’ve been given a chance.
“I believe that I’m still on the road to recovery in many, many ways.
“Masasabi ko lang, it’s not for me to judge.”
“HE'S NOT PERFECT”
Inamin ni Gary na nalungkot siya nang mabalitaan ang video scandal ni Jim.
Pero ganunpaman, nangibabaw pa rin ang simpatiya at pang-unawa niya sa kanyang kaibigan.
Saad niya, “Well, as an OPM singer, siyempre malungkot ako sa nangyari sa kanya.
"But, kung walang mga katulad ko ngayon that can tell him, 'I’m still here for you and your family,' sino ka?
“Kung yun ang mangyari sa akin, I would love to have even one person to be able to come up to me and say, 'You know what, let’s stick together.'”
Dugtong pa niya patungkol sa nangyari kay Jim, “I don’t know kung paano siya makaka-recover rito, but those are hard realizations.
“But I know, with me kasi, if God has given me chances before, I can do the same for somebody like Jim Paredes who has touched many lives through his songs.
“He’s not perfect.”
Kilalang bumabatikos si Jim sa gobyerno ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte.
Dahil sa kinasasangkutan nitong scandal, binabatikos ito ngayon lalo na ng mga pro-government.
Pahayag ni Gary tungkol dito, “You know, when you’re driving a car and you’re an office person, whether you’re a President of a company and a media person, and you love your family, kapag ikaw ay nasa kotse at meron kang nasagasaang tao at namatay yung tao, it doesn’t mean na criminal ka.
“Nagkaroon ng aksidente, nabundol yung isang tao, namatay siya, kayo ang nagda-drive.
“But I will not believe that you’re a murderer, I will not believe that you’re a killer.
“It’s just something that happened.
“With Jim Paredes’s case, it’s sad that it happened but I would like to sit with him, talk to him and maybe give him a hug.
“Not only him, but his family as well.”
WILLING TO BE THERE FOR HIS FRIEND
Hindi pa raw siya nagkakaroon ng pagkakataong makausap si Jim.
Ayon kay Gary, “Hindi ko pa siya nakakausap. I know he needs time on his own.
“This is something na medyo mahirap harapin.
“But, I’m willing to... I know many people will put him down.
"Pero ako, dahil alam ko rin ang mga pagkakamali ko sa buhay, nabigyan ako ng pagkakataon.
“I was forgiven many times also, I put myself in that situation also.
“I’m choosing to be there also, not just for him.
“Kasi marami ang nagsasabi, 'kawawa naman ang misis niya, yung ganito..'. I know.
“That’s why I wanna be there for them, not just for him.”
Hindi lang si Jim ang may private video na lumabas at nag-leak sa social media.
Nababalitang may iba pang OPM artists na masasabing pinagdaanan o pinagdadaanan pa ang ganitong sitwasyon.
Lahad ni Gary, “You know, what bothers me most are the people asking for help online.
“Kasi minsan may mga messages na ipinapakita natin online, but that’s the opposite of what we’re really going through.
“And I know it for a fact, when I talked to young people, they agreed.
“I always say that the numbers you have online don’t define who you are.”
Tinanong din si Gary kung ano ang nakikita niyang solusyon sa mga ganitong scandal, lalo na sa celebrities na nagiging isang malaking scandal talaga.
Ayon dito, “If help is needed, if professional help is needed, then go.
“Get the help that needs, especially being in the entertainment field, nasa frontline kami, especially in music.
“Because in movies, you can’t watch everywhere.
“With music, you can put it on. Music is the only kind of message where you close your eyes, you can perceive the message.
“With visuals, you have to be watching.”