Amid the recent controversy that her husband got embroiled in, actress Francine Prieto emphasized that her husband Frank Shotkoski loves the Philippines.
Frank made headlines over the weekend when he was deported to Singapore after supposedly cussing at an airport staff member, who was actually an Immigration Officer.
According to Francine, her husband was the first to alight the plane together with some baggage.
“So, 11:55 P.M. [ng June 24] yung dating niya galing Singapore. So, nakita niya yung escalator, wala namang harang o sign kung anuman. Akala niya na yung escalator na automatic, na pagsakay mo, umaandar. Kaso, nung pagsakay niya, hindi,” she shared in an interview with PEP.
“Kasi may dala-dala siyang bagahe. Nadulas siya… Ngayon lang siya nakaramdam ng ganung klaseng aksidente. Masakit yung katawan niya, tapos nakita niya may dugo siya.
“Kaya yung emosyon niya nung mga oras na yun, nagalit siya,” she shared.
A seething Frank then poured out all his anger towards an airport staff member.
“Sinabi niya na, ‘Bakit hindi kayo naglalagay ng sign?’ Siyempre may kasama nang mura yung mga sinabi niya. Siyempre, na-offend yung tao,” Francine continued.
To make matters worse, Francine claimed that a Filipino passenger added fuel to the fire by commenting “‘Kayong mga foreigner, wala kayong galang sa Pilipinas.’
“Sabi niya, ‘Asawa ko, Pilipina…’ Siyempre, yung mood, hindi na maganda.”
That incident caused Frank to be sanctioned with exclusion by the Bureau of Immigration.
“Ibig sabihin hindi ka makakapasok ng Pilipinas, blacklist ka, kailangang bumalik ka sa airport kung saan ka galing,” she said thereby forcing her husband to return to Singapore.
The only way for the blacklist to be lifted is to be able to prove his good character. To resolve the incident, Francine hired a lawyer who could help her husband return to the country.
“So, kanina [June 27] lang talaga kami nakapunta ng Bureau of Immigration, kasama yung lawyer ko. At bukas [June 28], darating naman doon… pupunta yung lawyer ko para magpasa ng apology letter ni Frank at request para po matanggal yung pagiging blacklist niya sa Philippines,” said Francine.
The actress vouched that her husband has no criminal records in the country whatsoever after almost two decades of shuttling to and from the Philippines.
“Talagang naaksidente lang po siya, yun po talaga ang naramdaman niya nun. Pero siyempre, kahit sabihin nating naaksidente siya, may na-offend po siyang tao, lalo na mga immigration officers. Kaya sobra po siyang nag-apologize,” she said.
To those who might be quick to judge, Francine clarified that her husband has already reached out to the person he offended.
“Sabi naman niya sa akin, nag-apologize na siya sa kanila, pero too late na dahil iba na yung mood, nagkagulo na. Pero willing po siyang bumalik at mag-apologize personally po sa lahat ng mga na-offend niya nung mga oras na yun,” she ended.
Francine tied the knot with her American husband Frank in Italy September of last year.