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Mayor Albee Benitez responds to rumors regarding his alleged relationship with Ivana Alawi, Angeli Khang

By John Patrick Magno Ranara Published Feb 09, 2024 10:59 am

Bacolod City Mayor Albee Benitez has released a statement amid rumors of the rift between him and his wife as well as being linked to actresses Ivana Alawi and Angeli Khang.

On his Facebook page, Albee Benitez briefly asked for respect regarding recent personal matters in his life after being involved in annulment speculation with his wife Dominique "Nikki" Lopez-Benitez and having alleged romantic ties with some showbiz personalities, which have since incited controversy in Bacolod.

"As for recent personal matters, I kindly request understanding and respect for privacy to shield all innocent parties involved. In my private capacity as a film and TV program producer, my professional interaction with various celebrities is inherent to the nature of the business," Benitez wrote.

"At this moment, my primary focus is on safeguarding the interests of Bacolod City," he added.

The issue of his entanglement with some celebrities was first brought to light through a report by PEP, wherein it stated that the mayor was allegedly seen with a sexy actress in an airport as they left for Japan.

Showbiz insider and talent manager Ogie Diaz in his YouTube vlog, discussed how Alawi is being linked to this and how she was also apparently seen with Benitez on a trip to Baguio. He said that the actress and model should speak up about the issue to prevent further speculation.

"Mahirap namang husgahan natin si Ivana, so dapat si Ivana rin ang sumagot niyan, kung paano niya lilinawin ‘yan, ‘no. Kung siya nga ‘yung tinutukoy," Diaz said. "Kung hindi naman siya, please disregard previous message."

Other reports meanwhile allege that Khang, who is known for starring in several Vivamax films, is the woman seen with Benitez in the airport.

According to PEP, the politician simply shook his head when pressed about whether he was seen with a sexy actress in an airport. However, he revealed that he and his wife have already been separated "for several years already" and that they had a dissolution of their marriage way back.

However, Nikki refuted his claims, saying "there have been no discussions" between her and her husband about a separation or annulment.

"The quotes attributed to him in the media, suggesting romantic links with several actresses, came as a surprise. We have been living under one roof for 31 years, maintaining our family's unity through all of life’s challenges," she told the publication.

Amid these claims, their eldest son, Victorias City Mayor Javier Miguel "Javi" Benitez, also became involved in the issue with his cryptic post that read, "We're as shocked as everyone because this wasn't spoken about in private, but mom I want you to know that I thank you and love you for all that you have done for our family."

"We know how much you have sacrificed for me and Bettina. I am eternally grateful," he added.

Aside from his position as the mayor of Bacolod City, Albee also serves as the owner of Brightlight Productions, the film production company and talent agency behind shows such as Tropang LOL and Sunday Noontime Live.

In December 2023, Alawi told Bea Alonzo in a vlog that she was seeing someone, but opted not to reveal the identity of the person.

"I'm seeing someone. I'm happy. My heart is happy," she told Alonzo.