Apr 24
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Whatever happened to Cita Astals?

Author: Neil Ramos

Former actress and three-term councilor Cita Astals has "lost it." This is according to her neigHBOrs in Sta. Ana, Manila.

NeigHBOrs claim that Astals had been "acting weird" of late and would often be seen wandering aimlessly around the neigHBOrhood looking disheveled.

"I would see her walking around, talking to herself," said Teresa Obias, who lives a few doors away from Astals. "She looked so thin and dirty as if she hasn't washed for days."

"She would come here and report people having ransacked her house, or being robbed, and get mad at us for not doing anything," added Jun Andrada, executive officer of the Barangay.

The rumors of Astals alleged neurosis was brought to the fore in a feature shown on GMA-7's "Showbiz Central."

A relative of the actress who saw the episode asked Councilor Lou Veloso, a friend and former colleague of Astals, for help.

"I think the saddest thing about it is that... people see her talking to herself, seemingly lost but are not doing anything about it," said Veloso, himself an actor.

It was Veloso who facilitated for an intervention of sorts for Astals through GMA-7's "Wish Ko Lang."

"I wish to see her be at her best again... to see her act on screen or on stage again."

In an interview for the program, Astals, who was found in a coffee shop near a Manila mall, had this to say.

"The rumors are true," she quipped.

The actress cited a number of reasons causing her alleged dementia centering on a supposed "conspiracy" against her person.

"I'm a victim of a land-grabbing syndicate that is being run by the police, okay... and that's what I'm being problematic about."

Astals explained that "several operatives" have her under constant surveillance, harassing her.

"I have received death threats," she said.

"They have this thing now they call the radio frequency locator, which I think has been approved as a law recently... I think just the other day... that one they call the radio video. And when you are being harassed by the police or the military they put it on [you] so when you see me talking to myself, it's because the radio is on and I'm actually talking to a person."

In the show, Astals was seen accusing bystanders of being "operatives," ordering the TV crew to "take pictures" of the people.

According to the show's resident psychologist, Christine LaGMAn, Astals is suffering from symptoms of hallucinations and delusions.

"She's not functioning fully. There's psychosis here."

LaGMAn advised to have Astals admitted to a hospital for treatment.

Representatives of the show, including Veloso and another councilor, Josie Sicar, are now finding ways to contact Astals' relatives to legally allow for the actress' treatment and management.

Astals is said to have been living alone --in a house without electricity-- for some time now.

Late last year, the actress complained that her house had been robbed. She bemoaned "the lack of action" of the Santa Ana police station, which she accused of being "slow" in responding to her request for help.

Authorities belied Astals accusations. They also complained that Astals allegedly had the police station's power supply cut.

Astals said the charges are "pure harassment" stemming from her "land-grabbing" case.

A third-term councilor for the fifth district, Astals ran for vice mayor of Manila in 2007 as an independent. She lost to actor, Franscisco 'Isko Moreno' Domagoso.

Source: The Manila Bulletin