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Influencer faces backlash for claiming husband ‘hired’ HPG Escort to avoid heavy traffic

VIVA artist and “influencer” Mary Joy Santiago had already experienced being on the receiving end of hate online following the accusations that she was the cause of the breakup between McCoy de Leon and Elisse Joson in 2023. However, just recently, Santiago was met with several criticisms once again, but this time for a different reason.

Mary Joy Santiago went viral online after posting a story on her Instagram account on Thursday, June 6, featuring a man in an “HPG” uniform in front of the vehicle she was riding. This video comes with an appreciation of her unidentified husband for making sure that she does not have to endure the troubles of traffic by hiring a Highway Patrol Group (HPG) officer.

“How can I settle for less when my husband hired a [an] HPG escort para lang hindi ako ma traffic sa pupuntahan ko (so I don’t get [stuck in] traffic where I’m going)? (+ have my own driver and car),” the caption read.

Considering the nature of the post and the message of the caption, many social media users were quick to call out the artist and express disapproval, with former PBB housemate Dawn Chang being one of them.

Following this controversy, the HPG refuted the claims of some users online who suggested that an HPG officer can actually be hired for personal gain.

In a public statement posted through HPG’s official Facebook page, the government-managed organization clarified, “The HPG clearly states that we will not tolerate any involvement in, or endorsement of, escort-for-hire services. Such activities are strictly against our existing protocols and regulations.”

HPG post
via Facebook

It also noted that an investigation has already started to determine whether Santiago’s claims were true or false. If proven guilty, she will face cyber-crime offenses for posting malicious content against the organization that handles road safety in the country.

“We assure the public that a thorough and transparent investigation process is underway maintaining the rule of law,” the HPG wrote.

This clarification is absolutely essential in addressing the recent controversy involving Mary Joy Santiago. In its absence, the perception that wealthy individuals can act with impunity without worrying about the consequences will once again be reinforced. If they are not held accountable for their actions, some affluent individuals will remain disconnected from the everyday struggles faced by ordinary individuals.

Unfortunately, this includes many Filipino commuters who have to endure long hours of traffic and overcrowded public transportation. And while they certainly do not need another ‘insensitive’ post from someone who wields influence and privilege, it might be the very spark needed to ignite discussion on the huge disparities between the rich and the poor, consequently leading to the creation of a more equitable society for all Filipinos.


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