PBB housemates speak up on TJ Valderrama's ‘harassment’ issue

MANILA, Philippines – The housemates of the Pinoy Big Brother (PBB): Kumunity Season 10 celebrity edition have spoken up on the issues of inappropriate touching or alleged sexual harassment against TJ Valderrama.

Following the calls of forced eviction for TJ on PBB house, "Big Brother" spoke to the women and men separately to address the issue. "Kuya" wanted to hear their opinions on their level of physical attention towards each other.

During the conversation, Kuya shared video clips of the housemates becoming close to each other such as hugging, leaning on each other and even sitting on another housemate's lap.

Earlier, "Force EVICT TJ" became a trending topic on social media after videos circulated online showing TJ allegedly inappropriately touching Shanaia Gomez.

READ: Netizens call to ‘force evict’ TJ Valderrama on alleged inappropriate behavior

Housemates Shanaia Gomez and TJ Valderrama
Housemates Shanaia Gomez and TJ Valderrama | Screenshot: YouTube/Pinoy Big Brother

Kuya first spoke with the younger housemates, Anji Salvacion, Alexa Ilacad and Shanaia. The three admitted that they all feel close to TJ, whom they described as their "Kuya" in the house.

According to Shanaia, TJ is caring to all of them. She said, "Ang common denominator, [sina] Kuya TJ, Mama Brends. Caring po sila. They always come to the rescue.”

Kuya explained to the housemates that as public figures, viewers can easily judge them according to what they see on TV. He reminded them to be cautious about showing affection to one another because their actions could be misinterpreted.

“Maganda ang pagpapakita ng appreciation at affection para sa isa’t isa. Gusto ko lang sabihin na kayo ay public figures. Sana lang ay maging maingat kayo kung paano niyo pinapakita ang appreciation ninyo para sa isa’t isa. Dahil minsan, maaaring hindi ito naiintindihan, lalo na kung hindi nila alam ang buong konteksto nito,” Big Brother said.

PBB female housemates described TJ Valderrama as their "kuya"
PBB female housemates described TJ Valderrama as their "kuya" | Screenshot: YouTube/Pinoy Big Brother

Samantha Bernardo and Jordan Andrews agreed to open a discussion to set boundaries among them.

Samantha explained, “Kailangan natin mag-set ng healthy boundaries [with] each other, at kailangan openly at wholeheartedly natin itong pag-usapan."

TJ who was at the center of the issue admitted they cannot control the opinions of the viewers.

“Tulad ng sinabi niyo, galing tayo sa pandemic, na walang touching, [mayroong] physical distancing. And then we’re here, we’re all negative, we’re in one house, and family tayong lahat. Hindi mo mapigilang magpakita ng physical na affection.”

“Puwede rin na iba ‘yung tingin, iba ‘yung anggulo. Mukhang… Alam niyo na. Hindi natin mapigilan kasi ‘yung sinasabi ng iba. Hindi natin mapipigilan ‘yun," he explained.

Meanwhile, Shanaia also talked about the importance of speaking up when they feel uncomfortable in the situation.

“If you see something that you think you should ano… Tell that person, ‘Uy, maybe don’t do that na lang.’ Parang ganu’n. Para alam niya,” she said.

TJ added that the distance they set might damage the friendships they have among housemates. But, he suggested it's best to find a balance in showing their affection towards one another.

He said, "Somehow, makaka-damage ‘to sa relationship natin dito sa house. Magkakailangan ‘yan, for sure. E, ayaw din naman ni Kuya ‘yun, na mawala ‘yung relationship natin sa isa’t isa. So we have to find that sweet spot na parang sakto lang, pero hindi mawawala ‘yung love natin, affection natin sa isa’t isa.”

In a statement issued by PBB management, sexual harassment is something that they will take seriously. However, the housemates themselves admitted that no such thing happened inside the house.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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