Risa Hontiveros, Jim Paredes among netizens who accepted Joey de Leon’s apology

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Joey de Leon. (Photo from his Instagram)

Senator Risa Hontiveros and singer-songwriter Jim Paredes were among the numerous netizens who hailed the apology of comedian-TV host Joey de Leon regarding his controversial remark on depression on the noontime show, “Eat Bulaga.”

Last Thursday during the “Juan for All, All for Juan” segment of “Eat Bulaga,” De Leon responded to a contestant who said she had depression by dismissing it as “gawa gawa” (made up) and “nagpapasosyal lang” (just trying to be elite).

De Leon apologized the following day following a social media uproar and after his own wife and kids explained the seriousness of depression and revealed that there are even people close to him who are suffering from the mental disorder.

“Nagkamali po ako (I made a mistake)…Ako’y humihingi po ng paumanhin sa mga napaitan sa mga nabanggit ko, at humihingi ng inyong unawa (I seek forgiveness from those who found my words bitter, and am asking for your understanding).”

De Leon also personally apologized to fellow “Eat Bulaga” mainstays Maine Mendoza and Ryan Agoncillo who did not share the comedian’s dismissive view about depression and underscored the seriousness of the disorder in separate forums. Mendoza personally responded to De Leon on “Eat Bulaga” while Agoncillo posted his rejoinder on Instagram.

Hontiveros was among the first to express her appreciation towards De Leon’s apology with this tweet.

Similar to Hontiveros’ invitation for De Leon to help raise awareness for mental health, a group of student organizations collectively known as Youth for Mental Health Coalition or Y4MH sent an open invitation to De Leon to join them in an “educational discussion” on mental illness.

“A public acknowledgment of mistake is welcome, but a changed mindset on mental illness would be the best form of apology,” said Y4MH national chair Raymond John Naguit in a statement.

Singer-songwriter Jim Paredes, formerly of the Apo Hiking Society, thanked De Leon for his apology in a post on Facebook and also tweeted this response.

De Leon and Paredes both got their start on television as cast members of “Okay Lang,” a popular gag show during the early 1970s.

Filmmaker Jade Francis Castro (“Zombadings”) tweeted that he was also pleased with De Leon’s apology and Mendoza’s earlier response.

Other netizens shared Paredes’ view about Joey de Leon doing “the right thing” with his apology, even while there were still others who thought the comedian’s gesture was not enough.