[THIS IS A CONTINUING STORY]
Pagkatapos ng ilang buwang pananahimik, nagsalita na ang kampo ng taong pinararatangan ni Kris Aquino ng pagnanakaw.
Huwebes ng umaga, November 15, humarap sa ilang piling media, kabilang ang PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal), si Atty. Jesus "Jess" Nicardo Falcis III.
Si Atty. Falcis ay nakababatang kapatid ni Nicardo “Nicko” Falcis II, ang respondent sa complaint na 44 counts of qualified theft na inihain ni Kris sa iba't ibang lungsod sa Metro Manila.
Si Nicko ay dating managing director ng kumpanya ni Kris na Kris C. Aquino Productions (KCAP).
Kasalukuyang nasa ibang bansa si Nicko, kung saan ito nag-aaral.
Sa pocket presscon kanina, nagsalita si Atty. Falcis tungkol sa sigalot na kinasasangkutan ng kapatid kaugnay ng pakikipagtrabaho nito kay Kris.
Hindi kabilang si Atty. Falcis sa legal counsel ni Nicko, ngunit siya ang humarap sa media bilang kinatawan ng kanilang pamilya.
Sa presscon kaninang umaga, tinanong si Atty. Falcis kung paano nagsimula ang gusot sa pagitan nila Nicko at Kris.
Saad niya, “It’s a very, very long story to explain.
"Ang haba kasi ng konteksto, ang daming layers, 'tapos merong two to three trigger... hindi lang one trigger.
“I don’t think it’s my story to tell, kasi nga ang haba ng konteksto.
“As I said here… my brother is a very busy person. I rarely saw him nga, he has so many commitments.
“And Miss Aquino knew this, but she still hired my brother.
“Now, my brother studied masters abroad—with our own money, not stolen from anyone.
“And Miss Aquino was so proud of my brother, NYU [New York University] grad.
“And Miss Aquino was so proud na nakapag-Crazy Rich Asians sila, which my brother was instrumental in closing..."
Isa raw sa posibleng trigger ng gusot ay ang hindi pagsunod ni Nicko ng isang malaking hiling ni Kris.
Kuwento ni Atty. Falcis, “Now, before May and during May , which is the graduation of my brother, Miss Aquino—from what I know lang, ha—I think she thought that it was okay for Nicko to be busy because he’s taking up masters.
“But when he graduated, after that there were chats beginning to appear from Miss Aquino, na she was expecting my brother to work for her full-time.
“And my brother cannot."
Nagbigay si Atty. Falcis ng isang pagkakataong hindi nasunod ang ganitong kagustuhan daw ni Kris.
"There was one incident, my brother flew to another commitment instead of following her to Hawaii.
“She wanted him to follow her to Hawaii, where there was no work.
"It was not work-related. There was no work to be done by my brother—and my brother is a workaholic...
“Instead of, ‘Sundan mo ako sa Hawaii,' 'Sunduin mo ako dito,' 'Fetch me,' 'Sabay tayo umuwi,' etc.—my brother, of course, flew to another country where there was work.
“That was, I think, one of the triggers.”
Ano ang naramdaman ni Nicko sa sinasabing demands ni Kris?
Saad ni Atty. Falcis, “Well, my brother said that Miss Aquino was demanding his full-time attention.
“And I can only surmise, or guess, that maybe Miss Aquino is used to people working for her full-time.
“She should not have been expecting [this], because when they were starting, it was not the [arrangement]."
Dagdag ni Atty Falcis tungkol sa telebisyon, ang dating mundo ni Kris: "I don’t know how it is in TV, but she’s no longer in TV, and my brother is a professional. So, maybe yun din…”
Nakausap si Atty. Falcis ng PEP.ph—kasama ang ABS-CBN, GMA, TV5, at DZMM— sa isang coffee shop sa Quezon City ngayong araw, November 15.
Naganap ito ilang oras bago nagsampa ng panibagong reklamo si Kris sa Mandaluyong Prosecutor’s Office.
Unang nalaman ng publiko ang problema umano ni Kris sa pera noong September 22, 2018, dahil sa pag-post nito sa Instagram tungkol sa isang taong malapit daw sa kanya na niloko siya.
Dahil sa pangyayari, sinabi ng aktres na nangayayat siya bunsod ng stress at lungkot.
Nangangamba raw siyang baka mauwi lang sa wala ang pinaghirapan niyang pera para sa kinabukasan ng mga anak na sina Joshua Aquino at Bimby Aquino-Yap.
Bahagi ng mensahe ni Kris: “In the 6 weeks that I quietly suffered because of financial abuse & betrayal we uncovered being done to me by someone I had complete trust & faith in, not to mention the millions he earned from running KCAP & negotiating my endorsements—the stress, inability to eat & sleep properly caused my weight to drop to under 54 kilos.”
Kasunod nito, isa pang madamdaming post ang ibinahagi ni Kris sa Instagram, patungkol sa nawalang tiwala sa isang dating katrabaho.
Aniya, “Broken trust is like shattered glass, as you try to pick up the pieces, your wounds bleed even more.
“My PAIN comes from my fear that tens of tax paid millions from my son's trust funds, money I conscientiously saved for them because I made a deathbed promise to my MOM that Kuya Josh & Bimb will always comes first, baka mawala lahat ng pinagpaguran ko dahil sa kanila.
“It is WRONG that the 2 BOYS I LOVE THE MOST, MY LIFE'S MEANING & INSPIRATION may suffer consequences because I was targeted & deceived by a person with no conscience.”
Dagdag pa ni Kris, ipinauubaya na niya sa mga abugado ang gagawing hakbang—kung magkakaroon ba ng settlement o itutuloy nila ito sa korte.
September 27, isang blog entry ang ibinahagi ni Kris sa kanyang website, www.krisaquino.com, tungkol sa di pinangalanang tao, na tinawag niyang isang “financial abuser.”
Dito ay sinabi niyang itutuloy na niya sa korte ang laban sa taong nangulimbat diumano ng milyon-milyon sa kanya.
October 12, 2018, nagsampa si Kris ng reklamong qualified theft o pagnanakaw.
Hindi pa rin niya pinangalanan ang tao.
Isinumite at sinumpaan ni Kris ang reklamo sa Quezon City Prosecutor's Office.
Sa ngalan niya, naghain din ang kanyang mga legal counsel ng parehong demanda sa anim na lungsod: San Juan, Mandaluyong, Pasig, Makati, Taguig, at Manila.
Nagdesisyon daw si Kris na maghain na ng reklamo dahil hindi nadaan sa settlement ang gusot sa pagitan niya at ng lalaking tinutukoy niya.
Saad ni Kris, “I continue to have faith that the Philippines' justice system will uphold the law with impartiality & fairness.
"My legal teams had met with his representatives in an attempt to settle amicably, but in straight forward language-cumare bears sila.
"My family had advocated for peace BUT the other party failed to even meet us halfway and instead chose to spread malicious lies & falsehoods...
"I wanted to quietly put this painful chapter behind me... kilala nyo na po ako—hindi ako ang nagsisimula ng away, pero hindi po ako pinalaki para urungan ang pakikipaglaban para sa katotohanan.
"Sinimulan nyo, kaya tatapusin ko.”
November 2, sa panibagong Instagram post ni Kris, nagpahiwatig naman itong handa na siyang patawarin ang taong nang-abuso ng kanyang tiwala.
Sabi ni Kris, "TODAY I DECIDED TO FORGIVE YOU. NOT BECAUSE YOU APOLOGIZED, OR BECAUSE YOU ACKNOWLEDGED THE PAIN THAT YOU CAUSED ME, BUT BECAUSE MY SOUL DESERVES PEACE."
"In my heart I know this is the 1st step of healing..."
Ngunit pagtapak ng November 14, inanunsiyo ni Kris na napuno na siya sa delaying tactics diumano ng taong nanloko sa kanya.
Ngayong araw, November 15, sinumpaan ni Kris ang inihain niyang reklamong 44 counts of qualified theft sa Mandaluyong Prosecutor’s Office.
Kasabay nito ang tuwiran na niyang pagpapangalan kay Nicko Falcis bilang respondent sa kanyang complaint.
Ninakawan daw ni Nicko si Kris ng PHP1.27M.
Ang hinihinging damages ni Kris sa korte ay PHP32.27M.
Sa panayam ng PEP.ph at ilang media kay Atty. Falcis kaninang umaga, pinagtawanan lang nito ang reklamong qualified theft ni Kris.
Sabi niya, “I have not seen any evidence actually. What evidence did she present?”
Base sa Instagram post ni Kris, mga credit-card statements ang magiging basehan niya sa reklamong inihain laban kay Nicko.
Ayon kay Atty. Falcis, walang alam ang publiko sa naging usapan ni Kris at ng kanyang kuya bilang business partners noon.
Saad niya tungkol sa credit-card statement: “Yes, but where is their agreement?
"That has not been shown yet—what they can do, and what is authorized, and what’s the practice.
“Imagine my brother, Nicardo Falcis II, a mere accountant, businessman, he is savvy, of course.
"But here is Miss Aquino, who has Kim Henares [former Bureau of Internal Revenue commissioner], Atty. Sigfrid Fortun, and an army of other professionals—maloloko?
“The credit-card bills go to her, not my brother.
"There’s monthly accounting. How can she say she does not know the charges?"
Inungkat din ni Atty. Falcis ang alegasyon ni Kris na ginamit ni Nicko ang credit card ng KCAP para sa personal nitong biyahe abroad.
"From what I know, one of the highest [amounts] na nilagay nila dun sa PHP1.2M [na kinuha raw ni Nicko kay Kris] ay Cathay Pacific charges.
"Flights na unauthorized daw?
“Hello! Kasama ni Kris yung entourage niya nun! Siya mismo nakasakay—so, bakit niya isasama yun?”
Natatawa rin niyang inungkat: “Ninety-five cups of Starbucks?
"Pakita niya talaga yung credit-card charges, that’s just 95 pesos!
“Walang 95 cups! Pakita niya sa akin. Bilhan ko siya ng 95 cups ngayon. Ninety-five pesos lang yun!
“And kahit bumili ang brother ko ng Starbucks na 95 pesos—if you are the manager, representation expenses are normal, right?
“That’s ridiculous. Wala akong nakikitang evidence na ipinakita niya kahapon [sa Instagram].
“She just claimed it. There’s no evidence. That’s just an assertion.”
Sa affidavit ni Kris, lumalabas na PHP1.27M na unauthorized charges ang diumano’y nilustay ni Nicko gamit ang credit card ng KCAP.
Ayon kay Atty. Falcis, “Nung nagkahiwalay sila around September , Miss Aquino called my brother and said, ‘Go to my home, let’s have an accounting, sign a quit claim, resign.’
“Of course, my brother, ‘If kung ayaw mo na, e, di okay. I’ll do all those things.’
“Now, [about] the charges or expenses, the issue there is, before September, before the falling-out, they had an existing practice that, whatever Miss Aquino disputes as purely personal, that cannot be justified as representation expenses, [she can dispute].
"Out of goodwill, my brother said, 'All right, I’ll issue a check.'
“I’m not sure of the amount, but the actual check that he actually issued was PHP437,000.
"That is out of goodwill.
“My brother, ‘Okay, if you say that’s not justified, then I’ll pay it.’
“Now, that’s in September.
"Now, what I’m saying is, before pa, because there is an existing practice, it’s just a one-time transaction they have.
“Before, if Miss Aquino says, ‘Nicko, that’s not justified,’ ‘Okay, madam, I’ll pay for it.'
“So, that has been an existing practice.
“So, that cannot be qualified theft!"
Diin pa ni Atty. Falcis, "There can be no qualified theft by the credit-card charge. At most, it’s an utang.
“Common sense for people, utang ang credit-card charge."
Dito ay ipinaliwanag ni Atty. Falcis ang paraan ng KCAP sa paggamit ng company credit card.
“Ang sinasabi nila kasi kahapon, KCAP, the production outfit of Miss Aquino, was charged by Nicko, unauthorized.
"The reality is—this is from what I know, ha—there are two credit cards.
“Under the name of KCAP, one, nakalagay 'Nicardo Falcis II'; the other is 'Kristina Bernadette Aquino.'
“So, if my brother uses Nicardo Falcis II, it does not mean it is unauthorized.
"Because ang practice din nila, when they went to the bank to open that account, is that my brother can charge under his own name.
“But, ultimately, [everything is] chargeable to KCAP.
"So, my point there is, Kris knows na their practice is, if my brother has a charge that is purely personal, in the meantime, it's okay but pay me later.
“So, I don’t know why she’s filing these cases.
“My brother, again, will be the [right] one to say why she’s filing these cases—in retaliation, out of spite, whatever."
May iba pa bang halagang sinasabi ng kampo ni Kris bukod sa PHP1.2M?
Tugon ni Atty. Falcis, “Kris is only talking of PHP1.2M in the court, but in all of her social media, she’s been talking more than that.
“So, she looks ridiculous in the past two months.
"She’s been alleging that my brother stole multimillions of pesos.
"For a person like her, kaya palang gawin yun, na may Sigfrid Fortun, and Kim Henares as your personal accountant?
“How can my brother do that?
"So, walang kinaso. Ang kinaso, ultimately, credit-card charge?
"It’s totally ridiculous."
Sa ngayon, ang inaalala raw ng pamilya Falcis ay ang seguridad ni Nicko, na kasalukuyang nasa ibang bansa.
At nasa ibang bansa ito diumano dahil sa pagbabanta mismo ni Kris sa buhay ni Nicko.
Saad ni Atty. Falcis, “We have strong proof.
"I have personally heard it, and I cannot imagine she would be saying those things.
“How can she say those things?
"And, of course, she would say now, sasabihin niya, for sure, sa talino niya, ha, sa dami ng sinasabi niya—‘Ako? Masasabi ko yun?’
“Yes, masasabi niya yun!
"Sasabihin niya na hindi niya masasabi iyan dahil anak siya ni Ninoy?
“That’s the most surprising thing for my family.”
Ang ama ni Kris na si dating Senador Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. ay pinaslang sa tarmac ng dating Manila International Airport, noong August 21, 1983, pagkatapos ng ilang taong forced exile sa Amerika.
Patuloy ni Atty. Falcis, “Ang punto ko dito, kung bakit nasabi ko 'to, itong Miss Aquino na 'to, nasabi niya yung ganun?
"She should be the first one to know the feelings of a person na hindi papauwiin yung tao, or may threat na kapag umuwi, mamamatay.
“You know, they’re not known to be violent. I wouldn’t know the Aquinos to be that kind of family."
Ngunit, dagdag niya, “But we have to take that seriously because who are we?
"We are nobodies."
May ipinakita si Atty. Falcis na screenshot ng diumano’y mensahe ni Kris kay Nicko sa messaging app na Whatsapp, na nagsasabing alam daw nito ang bawat galaw ni Nicko kahit nasa ibang bansa pa siya.
Laman daw nito ang flight arrivals, departures, airlines, at iba pang detalye.
Dagdag sa dulo: "Forwarded to me by a powerful friend."
Sa ngayon, pinag-aaralan pa raw ng pamilya Falcis kung paano makakauwi nang ligtas si Nicko sa Pilipinas.
Sabi ni Atty. Falcis, “My family is not an established name.
"The public must remember, especially for my mom na senior citizen [64 years old]...
“Actually, Miss Aquino has always been saying, ‘Mom ako, I’ve been getting sick,’ kawawa ang mga anak niya.”
Sa puntong ito ay napaiyak si Atty. Falcis.
Aniya, “How about my mom? How about our mom?
"Nagpa-palpitations yun, sumasara ang dibdib.
"We have been waiting for two months for the day Miss Aquino personally names my brother.
“It has always been a Damocles sword hanging over our head.
“And my mom woke up every day feeling na, ‘Is this the day? Ito na ba? Sasabihin na ba niya? Papangalanan na ba niya yung anak ko?’
“And then, ang dami niyang [Kris] backdoor channels na negotiate, negotiate.
“So, yung nanay ko umaasa na, ‘O, sige, mag-settle na lang. Bakit ba sila nag-away?’
“Yung nanay ko, fan yun ni Miss Aquino... noon. May I emphasize, noon.”
Naging bukas daw ang pamilya Falcis para sa settlement, ngunit hindi ito nauwi sa pagkakaayos.
Pahayag ni Atty. Falcis, “Both parties always asked for it.
"But the difference is, we always have been sincere and in good faith.
"Meaning, kapag may ni-request sila, like, huwag kaming magsalita in public. Ako daw, control myself dahil minsan nagtu-tweet ako.
“Kinontrol ko ang sarili ko.”
Nagpapahaging lang daw siya kay Kris kapag sunud-sunod na ang posts ni Kris sa social media laban kay Nicko.
Hindi raw kasi patas ang laban dahil marami nang pinakawalang akusasyon si Kris sa social media.
Pakiramdam ni Atty. Falcis ay “underhanded” ang sitwasyon.
“She would tell Atty. Sigfrid Fortun to tell our family, ‘Don’t talk in public,’ and yet she would keep talking and talking and talking.
“We’ve done negotiations back and forth, yes. We were always sincere."
Kasunod nito ay nilinaw ni Atty. Falcis ang alegasyon ni Kris na hindi raw ibinigay ni Nicko ang mga dokumentong ipinangako nito.
Sinabi ni Kris na isa ito sa mga dahilan kung bakit kinasuhan na niya si Nicko.
Sabi ni Atty. Falcis, “I want to dispute one major lie she’s saying, like, that she asked for documents from our family that we never gave.
"She never asked for documents.
"The documents? The very first meeting our lawyers and her lawyers had, Atty. Sigfrid Fortun, and Kim Henares [was there]...she wanted us to sign documents kaagad na may mga admission, etc.
“Of course, we have to review it, so we didn’t sign.
“But there was no request for documents in that first meeting.
"And if she wants documents in a certain company [in KCAP], she can always get it because she was a shareholder and an officer.”
Nangyari raw ang unang meeting nila para sana sa amicable settlement sa UCC Corinthian Gardens, Mandaluyong City, nitong huling bahagi ng Setyembre.
Kuwento ni Atty. Falcis, “Walang tao, pina-reserve nila.
"Pagdating namin, para lang pala sa amin at sa kanila.
“The negotiations were back and forth.
"And yung isa pang nakakainis dito sa negotiation is... I can explicitly remember, this talaga is personal to me.”
Nangyari raw ito noong October 27, 2018, isang Sabado.
“Two p.m., nag-back channel message siya to someone na... Miss Aquino messaged someone na common friend ng family na, ‘I’m open to one last chance for settlement or negotiation. I want to meet your mom.’
“Two p.m. yun, Saturday, the meeting na gusto niya [ay] 10 p.m. on the same day.
“'Tapos sabi namin, ‘Okay, we’ll try to see if our mom is available.’
"Kasi gusto niya, mom to mom.
"Kami naman, okay, baka iba din ang dating if our mom gets to talk with her or she gets to talk with our mom.”
Ang problema raw ay may nakaplano nang pupuntahan ang kanilang ina noong araw at oras na gusto ni Kris.
“So, she cannot go.
"And our mom during that time, ano na kasi 'to, parang third phase na 'to ng negotiation... parang matunog na may case filed, pero hindi pa kami sure.
“'Tapos magpu-post pa lang ata si Miss Aquino nun na nag-file siya.
“But, ang point ko, on that day when she requested a meeting with our mom, our mom was not emotionally ready yet to meet her.
“'Tapos nung sinabi namin na our mom may not likely be available, it might be my sister and lawyer, [sabi] ‘If there’s no mom, no meeting.’
“Who’s she to demand [to have] my mom? ‘No mom, no meeting!’
"And then, in the other negotiations, ‘No SPA [special power of attorney], no meeting!’
“Gusto niya magsa-sign kami kaagad!"
Patuloy ni Atty. Falcis, "We’re not dumb ‘no? Hindi kami ipinanganak kahapon.
“We have to review whatever agreement or compromise will come. And back and forth, if it’s acceptable to both parties, then we sign.
“We will never sign on the spot, ano kami?
“Kahit ano siya, established family, pressured kami na mag-sign agad? Of course not.
“And now, I know for a fact na the case is baseless, mas lalo kaming ano na, ba't kami magsa-sign agad?
“Ang point ko kasi dun, we have always been sincere, wala kayong narinig na public statement sa amin.
“May nakita ba kayong IG [Instagram] ko or tweet ko? [If there was] it was always on a day na may IG or Facebook or YouTube [post] si Miss Aquino.
“And I never… it was so explicit, it was always to defend.
“So, I don’t know what she’s talking about. Double defamation siya, e.
“One, this baseless case against my brother. Second, to say na kami yung hindi sincere sa negotiation? Ridiculous.
“Our chats can back that up.”
Isa rin sa mga inusisa ng PEP.ph kay Atty. Falcis ay kung may iba pa bang halagang pinag-uusapan sa falling out ni Kris at ni Nicko—at hindi lamang ang PHP1.27M na credit-card billing?
Sa mga nauna kasing posts ni Kris sa Instagram, malaking halaga raw ang nawala sa kanyang pamilya, na perang pinaghirapan daw niyang ipunin para sa kapakanan ng dalawang anak.
Saad ng abugadong kapatid ni Nicko, “My brother and Miss Aquino are… [they] have [many] different relationships.
"One, my brother is a business manager or endorsement contract closer of Miss Aquino.
"My brother closed 54 brands for Ms. Aquino!
“They’re business partners in numerous businesses.
"I think, for PR mileage, she is conflating all of the allegations in the valid business partnerships that they had.
“And we are not afraid because all the businesses that they had—they’re all profitable.
“How profitable? The existing stores profit enough to roll out one store.
“The businessmen will understand this. Ako, I cannot explain it properly, ‘no? But that’s how it's profitable.
“You don’t need new capital to create the next store or next branch. Roll out lang nang roll out."
Atty. Falcis muses, “So, baka dun niya nilagay yung… yung initial phase, ha, yung unang ginawa pa lang nila yung mga businesses na yun... yung sinasabi niyang trust fund.
“Which I would doubt. Paano maging trust fund, e, ang alam kong net worth niya, bilyun-bilyon. Kasi ang laki ng bayad ng tax niya, di ba?”
Diin pa ni Atty. Facis, “There’s nothing stolen.
"E, di kasuhan niya, ba't di niya kasuhan? Bakit hindi niya kinaso na ninakaw yung trust fund?”
Wala daw siyang sinasabi na dahil isang milyong piso lamang ang halaga nito, hindi na ito mahalaga para sa isang tao.
Paglilinaw ng kapatid ni Nicko, “Yes, stealing is stealing. But there’s nothing stolen sa credit-card charge!
“It’s a valid business relationship that now, when all things have gone sour, e, retroactively, Miss Aquino is just justifying as wrongful.
“So, it’s just a hindsight bias. Na ngayon lang na galit siya, pinupulitika niya lahat ng mga naging [credit card] charges.”