Bela Padilla and Alex Gonzaga were among the celebrities who have spoken up against Sam Morales.
A Cebu-based transwoman broke the internet when she opened up about her harrowing experience with a female catfisher and a male accomplice — making readers feel like they were watching a series.
But just when everyone thought her story was enraging enough to start a movement against the unjustifiable act, the Twitterverse became even more infuriated after several others who got victimized by the very same people came forward to tell their stories.
Last Monday, March 30, a transwoman named Tzan Jero exposed in a lengthy Twitter thread an up-and-coming filmmaker for brand campaigns — who was identified as Sam Morales — for tricking her into falling for someone with a fake identity also known as catfishing.
According to Jero, the elaborate catfishing scheme went on for months — making her for fall for a certain Bill Iver Reyes who turned out to be a man named Bilko Wagan Argana. Worse, she found out that it was actually Sam Morales, the girl she thought was her friend, who had been manipulating the situation the entire time.
When confronted about what she did, Morales justified her acts by saying she did the things she did because she got bullied by gay people growing up. So she teamed up with her uncle in an evil scheme targeting the LGBTQI+ community to make them fall for the latter and eventually ghosting them in the long run. It would later become an addiction of hers.
Read the tweets below:
Josh Dela Rosa and Ish Coldura, two of Morales’ several other victims, came forward to tell their story — exposing a similar scheme with his accomplice Bilko Wagan Argana.
Both ordinary citizens and celebrities have spoken up on the issue, which came out in time for Transgender Day of Visibility, to shed light on the repercussions of such actions to the LGBTQI+ community.
Bela Padilla helped Alex Gonzaga get her message across after netizens misunderstood the latter’s stand on the issue.
“To anyone reading this.. basta ang ka-chat or katext mo di nakipagkita within a month or Video call man lang na sabay kayo dalawa pareho nakikita at naguusap sa screen.. it’s fraud,” Gonzaga wrote.
Padilla, quoting Gonzaga’s tweet, responded by saying: “This isn’t always the case, Alex. The victims of these situations are kept in a bubble, so perfect, that they wouldn’t want to leave. One month will feel like a day when they condition you to think that you’re in love and loved.”
To which Gonzaga replied: “Hi Bela, I know and understand. I know people who are victims as well. That’s why I’m reminding everyone if simula palang ganun na, it’s shady and fishy na. I helped one case to realize that he’s being catfished and thankfully he stopped it. Just trying to help and remind.”
Gonzaga added: “We are always here to look after each other especially sa mga nakakabata sa atin.”
Explaining why she responded to Gonzaga’s tweet, Padilla replied: “And that’s precisely why I felt the need to reply to your tweet. Jzan was so brave to speak up. I don’t want her or anybody else who went through this to think it was their fault. I mean, what factual study declared one month? But nevertheless, thank you for the warning.”
Padilla went on to defend Gonzaga after a netizen made an attack against the latter, writing: “Please don’t misconstrue. There is no versus here. I love Alex, I am just covering areas she didn’t cover with her tweet. Twitter is a public space and the chances that one might feel left out or singled out are huge here. We don’t condemn or only accept one point in public spaces.”
See their conversation below:
Meanwhile, other celebrities such as Janine Gutierrez, BJ Pascual, Chienna Filomeno, Rhap Salazar, and Marvin Agustin also gave their two cents on the issue.
As of this writing, Sam Morales has not yet spoken up on the issue.