Toni Gonzaga took to Instagram last Sunday, January 3, to tell social media users to give forgiveness to Russu Laurente, the recent evictee of Pinoy Big Brother (PBB), who was known to be in favor of the ABS-CBN shutdown prior to joining PBB.
Accompanied by photos of her on the PBB set, Toni said in her post that Russu had already realized the damage he has done and asked netizens to stop bashing him.
“People are very quick to judge him, call him names and crucify him on social media because of it without realizing that at 19 years old, he doesn’t know the gravity of words spoken,” the Kapamilya host and actress wrote. "He has learned his lesson and this will help him grow and mature in life."
Now that he knows the gravity of his actions, Toni said Russu will now do better and said what happened will serve as a reminder for everyone to not define nor label a person by the mistakes they have done in the past.
"May this also serve as a reminder for us to not define and label a person by the mistakes they’ve committed but from how they rise up, rebuild and become a better person they are really supposed to be,” she said.
“I hugged the boy after the show and he kept apologizing. Forgiveness is a gift everyone deserves,” she added.
Toni's reflection garnered mixed reactions from netizens on Twitter. While some praised her for what she said, others did not take too kindly about it.
Some added political color to her stand and even tagged her as a DDS or a Duterte Diehard Supporter. They even resurrected her and her husband, director Paul Soriano’s photos with President Rodrigo Duterte, who was instrumental in the media giant’s shutdown.
Even harsher, some netizens also wanted her to be “evicted” from her PBB hosting stint and added they could not fanthom how she is still be working on ABS-CBN while remaining to be a DDS.
Toni Gonzaga: Russu was evicted because of a mistake he did...People are quick to judge him...He has learned his lesson and this will help him grow.— Ogie Rosa (@ogie_rosa) January 3, 2021
Eh ikaw, Toni? Have you grown? Kaya mo na bang magsalita laban sa pagpapasara ng ABSCBN? O enabler ka pa rin?
Robi Domingo: We can forgive but never forget.— bobochannel (@bobochannel2) January 4, 2021
Toni Gonzaga: A person is not defined by his mistake, but how he rises up from his mistakes.
See the difference from anti-government and pro-government supporters. 😁
Toni Gonzaga is apparently trending because of her words of wisdom but nah uh, she is a DDS, an enabler. So no amount of WOW's will be enough, unless she take back her political stance, admit that she learned her lesson, and start to use her influence to fight for the injustices.— Ella Mae | 엘라 매 🍂 (@kaikookiemochi) January 3, 2021
It’s completely unacceptable for Toni Gonzaga to make that long-ass post about forgiveness while thousands of ABS-CBN employees lost their jobs.— Jericho Rayel Timbol (@jerichorayel) January 4, 2021
Those employees in one way or another made Toni who she is today.
Russu is the second evictee of the current season of PBB, only receiving 4.39% of the votes.