NAGA CITY — Caught in the middle between his girlfriend, movie actress Heart Evangelista, and his prospective in-laws, reelectionist Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero cried foul over the accusations hurled against him, claiming that what the Ongpaucos were doing “was not right.”
“Pilit kong iniintindi at inuunawa ang mga magulang ni Heart pero hindi na tama ang ginagawa nila sa akin eh. Hindi na rin tama ang ginagawa nila sa amin, hindi na rin tama ang ginagawa nila sa anak nila,” he told reporters in a press conference at Villa Caceres Hotel this city.
He said if he were in their shoes, he would personally talk to their daughter to settle the issue and not to discuss it publicly.
“Tatay din ako, parent din ako, mahal ko din ang mga anak ko , pero hindi ako mandadamay, mananakit at maninira ng kapwa sa ngalan ng pagmamahal ko sa anak ko.
At kung mayroon man akong diperensya kung saka-sakali sa mga anak ko, hindi ko isasapubliko, hindi ako magpepresscon, hindi ako mandadamay ng ibang tao,” the Team PNoy bet said, leveling tirade against Evangelista’ parents who accused him of disrespectful behavior.
Escudero said he was forced to break his silence for the sake of his kids and his family members, particularly his mother who were dragged into the controversy.
“Hangga’t maaari ayaw ko sanang magsalita tungkol dito pero nadadamay na ang mga anak ko, medyo may isip na sila, ayaw kong dumating sa puntong kakantyawan sila ng mga kaklase nila tungkol dito, nadadamay na rin ang nanay ko, kamamatay pa lang ng tatay ko at parang pinapalabas na hindi ako pinalaki ng maayos at hindi rin akong tinuruan ng magandang asal,” he said.
He said the Ongpaucos should not use their financial stature to trample on him and his family.
“Tama ang sinabi ng isang kolumnista, malayo naman talaga na mas mayaman at mas maraming pera ang mga magulang niya kumpara sa akin, tama din marahil ang sinabi ng magulang niya, hindi ko kayang tustusan yung luho, yung buhay na binibigay nila sa anak nila, pero kung ano man ang meron ako, sapat yun para sa akin. Pero kahit gaano karami siguro ang pera nila, hindi naman siguro lisensya yun para maliitin ang sinuman, o yurakan yung katauhan ko at naapektuhan din ang pamilya ko,” Escudero claimed.
He alleged that the intention of Evangelista’s parents is to separate them, which hurts the 28- year-old actress.
“Wala akong ipinakita o ginawang masama kay Heart, sa mga magulang niya . Alam nila yun, lahat ng ito, lahat ng ginawa at sinabi nila, lahat ng gagawin pa nila, o sasabihin pa nila, iisa lang naman ang dahilan, rason at puno’t dulo, nanggaling naman sa kanila, gusto nila kaming paghiwalayin, gusto nilang maghiwalay kami,” Escudero claimed.
Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, who played cupid to Chiz and Heart, has also expressed her opinion on the matter.
She said she deemed it right for the actress’ parents to let their daughter learn her own lessons because she is of right age.
“I think that they should just think all of this over and maybe it’s time for the family to let go of Heart because she’s 28. I think the best thing to do is let go, she has to learn her lessons her way,” Sen. Santiago said, addressing the Ongpaucos, in an interview with GMA News on Thursday.
As for her advise to Chiz, Santiago said, “amuin na lang niya ’yung mga magulang para walang problema...Why can’t he do that? That is our culture, may kasabihan tayo na ligawan mo ang mga magulang muna.”
However, Sen. Santiago stressed that she won’t be taking sides because “this is a very highly emotionally charged situation.”
Sen. Santiago also came up with the decision to distance herself from Heart.
“I never had a daughter you know so I thought I could have a mother-daughter relationship with her and I’m very, very disappointed, in fact, depressed that things have turned out this way so I’m just gonna distance myself from her from now on. Apparently, I may have certain professional abilities but guidance and counseling is not one of them,” she said.
In Davao City, senatorial bets of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), speaking as parents, yesterday said they are inclined to side with the parents of actress Heart Evangelista who are concerned over their daughter’s romance with Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero.
When sought to comment on the perceived rift between the Ongpaucos, Heart’s parents, and the senator, Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay said she would advise the actress to first listen to her parents.
“They say parents know best. So may be Heart should listen to her parents because at the end of the day, whatever happens your parents will always love you,” Magsaysay said in an interview with reporters at the Waterfront Insular hotel in Davao City before heading to Kidapawan to campaign.
“Maybe her parents see something that she probably doesn’t see at this point in time,” she added.
Magsaysay said the incident is unfortunate but she said the actress should be heeding her parents advise.
“Its very unfortunate pero talagang mahal na mahal nya siguro si Chiz,” she said.
She said she understands the actress’ family must have been raising legitimate concerns for their daughter after saying that the senator’s alleged vices and his political background may harm her.
“You cannot change a person overnight eh. Lalo na if (a person) in 40s, yun na yun eh, yung make up mo bilang isang tao.
“If the parents of Heart perceive him in that light then they should expect the decision of the Ongpaucos. They probably saw something in Chiz that probably they don’t want. So they are being vocal probably because they just want to protect their daughter,” she claimed.
“But if I were him and he loves Heart, and syempre you cannot disengage Heart from her parents maybe he should also look at the issues na ni raise ng parents ni Heart,” she added.
Former senator Richard Gordon said he thinks Escudero should also consider his personal relationship vis-a-vishis political career.
“Kung ang isang tao ay nasa pamumulitika dapat ingatsn mo iyong personal relationships sapagkat tinitingnan ka ng mga mamamyan,” Gordon said.
“Even what you do when people say you smoke too much or you drink in excess or you are disrespectful--those are an attack on Filipino values,” he added.
“I hope he doesn’t commit anymore self-conflicted injury,” he said.
He said he only hopes that the problem or situation involving the Ongpauco family and the senator is not exploited for other reasons.
Fellow Team PNoy bet Grace Poe defended of Escudero, whom he said is a gentleman and who acted as her old brother when her father, late presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr died.
“I have not known him to be disrespectful especially to parents. Si Chiz pag sa mga nanay ang bait nun eh, maasikaso yun,” she said.
Commenting on the drinking habit of her partymate, she said, “siyemopre tayo may social time off, may social drinking.”
“Basta ang pagkakakilala ko sa kanya isa siya mabuti kaibigan na maasahan mo kapag ikaw ay gipit na gipit. Noong nawala ang tatay ko kahit kasing edad ko yan parang tumayo siyang kuya ng pamilya, wala naman kami alam sa batas na legal so siya yun. Kaya malapit sa kanya ang nanay ko. Tingin ko sa mga nanay maalaga si Sen. Chiz,” Poe said.
Escudero appealed to his critics not to dip their fingers into the controversy.
“ Sana huwag nang gamitin ng ibang tao pa ito dahil may mga taong nasasaktan. Sana hindi gamitin ito dahil panahon ng halalan ngayon, pero maging ganun pa man, maski ako na, huwag na lang siya,” he said.
He said that whatever Evangelista’s decision is, he would respect it, citing that her girlfriend loves her parents very much.
“Sana kung ano man ang pasya niya, galangin nating lahat, pati ako. Mahal ko siya pero maliwanag naman na matindi itong pinagdadaanan namin, masakit siyempre, sana huwag nang sawsawan ng ibang tao pa ito,” he said.
“Sorry kung kailangan kong magsalita, paumanhin kung kailangan kong magpaliwanag ngayon pero medyo sobra na rin, at sana tama na, sana kung ano man ang gusot na ito maayos at sana hindi na masyadong madami pang madamay at masaktan sa mga nangyayari, dalangin ko sana malagpasan itong pagsubok na aming dinadaanan, ng aming samahan. Siguro panahon na lang ang makakapagsabi,” he said.