MANILA, Philippines – Actor Aga Muhlach, who is in the running for a seat in Congress, said he would continue making TV and movie projects even when he gets elected but this time, with themes that are “more mature, meaningful and worthwhile.”
“I’d assume that it’s what people would want to see from me,” Muhlach told the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Monday. “In the event that I win, I’d be more choosy. I’d think of projects that could help promote my causes.”
Muhlach, who is running for representative of the 4th district of Camarines Sur, was last seen in the big screen via the Viva Films’ romantic comedy “Of All the Things” opposite Regine Velasquez. He used to host the infotainment show “Pinoy Explorer” on TV5.
“I can’t leave show business. Things would just be a little different in case I win,” he pointed out. “A change in lifestyle is always tough, but I’m ready for it. While actors like me are so used to being given what we want, I’m well aware that this time, it’s my job to serve the public.”
The 43-year-old actor insisted that politics is “dirtier” compared to showbiz. “In all circles, mayroon talagang madumi. What’s sad is that people tend to focus on them more than those who do good deeds. Unlike in showbiz, where you play a character, in politics, you deal with people’s lives. This should be really taken seriously.”
Muhlach said it took him two whole weeks to study all his options before deciding to run for public office. “When I filed my candidacy on Oct. 5, I said to myself, ‘this is what I really want. There’s no turning back.’ So to all my opponents, let’s just see each other till the very end.”
Muhlach said he was grateful for securing two victories in court this month. First was the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued on Jan. 15 by the Court of Appeals directing the Election Registration Board (ERB) of San Jose, Camarines Sur “to immediately reinstate and reactivate” his name and his wife’s Charlene in the voters’ list.
Second triumph was that the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) recent declaration that Muhlach is “a natural-born Filipino citizen and is therefore eligible to enjoy full civil and political rights, including the right to seek elective public office.” This was the Comelec’s response to a petition filed by voter Gilmar Pacamara, who alleged that Muhlach is a Spanish citizen who “abandoned his Philippine citizenship” when he was issued a Spanish passport. The case was dismissed for “lack of merit.”
Despite the trials, Muhlach remained hopeful. “Whenever I go around the province, I hear people saying they want change.” Muhlach reported that his team financed three poll surveys, with the latest result out only on Dec. 20. He said topping the surveys inspired him to work harder in the campaign. “I can’t be too complacent. I remember (Budget) Sec. (Florencio) Abad telling me, ‘Aga my dad once told me, even if you think you’re going to win, campaign as if you’re going to lose.”
Muhlach claimed to have learned a lot about politics this early in the race. “’Pag malinis ka, ‘di ka matatakot sagutin ang anumang tanong,” he said. “My opponents have a lot of money to their disposal, while my team has nothing but I’m not threatened by them.”