The relentless campaign of the Duterte government against drugs has finally broken through the realm of show business.
In the last two weeks former sexy actress Sabrina M and current starlet Krista Miller were caught in separate buy bust operations.
On Monday night, the latest celebrity to fall was Mark Anthony Fernandez, son of the late action star Rudy Fernandez and actress-turned-politician Alma Moreno. Mark was caught with the alleged possession of a kilogram of marijuana, and has since been detained at an Angeles City police station in Pampanga.
Despite his history with drug use and voluntary submission for rehab twice in his young life, his arrest nonetheless sent shockwaves in the industry. After all, showbiz has always been kind to this former matinee idol with a seemingly lost soul. Every time he falls from grace and shows he has conquered his demons, he always gets another chance at rebuilding his career, most recently with GMA Network.
When the news about Mark’s arrest surfaced, his uncle Robin Padilla quickly took to social media and thanked God for keeping his nephew safe, even if he is behind bars, rather than killed in the police chase.
His post read: “Purihin ang Panginoong Maylikha mahal kong pamangkin. Nakahinga ako ng maluwag at naglulumuhod sa pasasalamat sa nag iisang Diyos na makapangyarihan at ikaw ay buhay, Mark. Hindi kami mapapatawad ng tatay mo kung may nangyaring masama sa iyo. Sir Bato at sa Angeles City PNP tanggapin po ninyo ang malalim na pasasalamat at pagsaludo ng Padilla Family sa propesyonal at makatao na paghuli kay Mark Anthony Fernandez… Alhamdulillah.”
[“Praise the Lord, the Creator. My beloved nephew, I am relieved and am on my knees thanking the Lord Almighty that you are alive. Your father would have never forgiven us if something untoward happened to you (when you were arrested). Sir Bato (PNP Chief) and to the Angles City PNP, please accept the Padilla family’s deepest thanks; we salute you for the very professional and humane arrest of Mark Anthony Fernandez. Praise be to Allah.”]
The most touching reaction from social media meanwhile came from Mark’s son Grae Fernandez who is a contract star of ABS-CBN. He posted a short message on his Twitter account with hashtag #markanthonyfernandez shortly after his father’s arrest.
The 14-year-old actor said, “No matter what people say about you, I will always be proud to be your son because you’re the best dad! #markanthonyfernandez.”
Grae, in his past interviews, said he knew that that his dad voluntary entered the Bicutan Rehabilitation Center in 2004. He would also say that because of what his father went through, he knows he should stay away from vices.
“I know how to counteract [temptations]with confidence,” added the boy who is the eldest son of Mark with former wife Melissa Garcia.
Mark tested positive for marijuana-use but negative for shabu.
Overall, the arrest of Mark and other showbiz personalities gives the message that the government’s campaign against illegal drugs is real and determined.
Despite this, Robin, who is a known supporter of President Duterte, still hopes that his request is granted for the names of celebrities allegedly hooked on drugs to be kept from the public. He further asked for a dialogue between the government and alleged celebrity drug users, which, at least for his nephew Mark, is now of no use.
Nevertheless, there is still time for showbiz folks hooked on drugs to turn themselves in or voluntarily submit themselves to drug rehabilitation. The industry hopes they do lest another talented member falls from this dangerous addiction.