A PHOTOGRAPHER who styled the pre-debut photo shoot of the granddaughter of President Rodrigo Duterte has appealed to critics to know the whole story first before reacting to the controversial shoot in Malacañang.
Top photographer Lito Sy has pointed out that Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte of Davao City, eldest son of President Duterte, has nothing to do with the photo shoot of his daughter Isabelle in the Palace.
“People are saying that Paolo Duterte used government funds for the photo shoot of Isabelle. Naaawa ako kay Paolo because he really has no idea about this photo shoot,” said Sy, during an exclusive interview at the Christmas party organized by the Mutya ng Pilipinas for members of the beauty pageant press at Aposento in Makati City last Tuesday night.
Sy said that the photo shoot was the idea of Lovelie Sangkola Somera, mother of Isabelle, and former wife of Paolo.
“Gastos ito ng mother ni Isabelle at hindi nga ito alam ni Paolo. Isabelle’s mother is a rich businesswoman. May pera ‘yung nanay hindi nanghihingi kay Duterte. Walang ganun,” he said. “President Duterte was aware of the scheduled photo shoot in Malacañang.”
Prior to the Palace photo shoot, Isabelle and her glam team went to Sydney for the initial pre-debut shoot. “After Sydney, the second photo shoot was done in Malacañang.”
Sy said that the third pre-debut photo shoot was supposed to be done in China but he declined.
“Another photographer took shots of Isabelle in Australia. I don’t know the guy. Instead of the China, the third pre-debut photo shoot was done at the Las Casas Filipinas de Azucar in Bataan,” he said.
Sy showed some of the photos which he took in Malacañang and these images have not been released to the public.
“Nagulat talaga ako at ang dami ng bashers.”
On the issue of presidential seal which became part of Isabelle’s photo shoot, Sy said: “Hindi naman namin binaboy ‘yung presidential seal. And besides, people can take their photo with the presidential seal inside the Palace. Kung makakapasok ka ng Palasyo, you are allowed to take a photo with the presidential seal. Ang protocol dun bawal magpakuha sa seal na naka-tsinelas ka or naka-rubber shoes. Kaya ‘yung iba nakatago ‘yung paa pagnag-papa-picture sa seal.”
The Palace photo shoot was done on Dec. 14. “She has five outfit changes. From Australia she went straight to Davao.
And the next day, she went to the Palace for the photo shoot. We started shooting around 4 p.m. Her mother was there during the whole pre-debut shoot.”
Sy, who has been a photographer for many years now, said that he has known the Dutertes for a long time.
“Hindi pa nag-aasawa sila Paolo and Lovelie magkakabarkada na kami noon pa. Hanggang ngayon,” he said.
Sy also said that the pre-debut photo shoot was done free of charge. “Walang bayad ‘yun. Pero sa araw ng debut nya, I’ll be the official photographer. May talent fee na ako run.”
Isabelle will turn 18 on January 26, 2018. Sy refused to disclose the venue for the debut next year but he said that it will be held in the Philippines.
“President Duterte has been invited to the debut. Isabelle’s mother will be there. I have no idea about Paolo,” Sy added. “Paolo and Lovelie have been separated for quite some time now. They don’t talk.”
Isabelle is set to enter show business soon as contract star of Viva Films. She will be under the guidance of feisty talent manager Annabelle Rama.