NAGA CITY, Philippines - Re-electionist Senator Chiz Escudero talks to media after the parents of his girlfriend accuse him of being arrogant, disrespectful and an alcoholic.
Natashya Gutierrez reports.
CHIZ ESCUDERO, TEAM PNOY SENATORIAL BET: Pilit kong iniintindi at inuunawa ang mga magulang ni Heart pero hindi na tama yung ginagawa nila sa akin eh.
(I've tried to understand Heart's parents but what they're doing to me is just not right anymore.)
Senator Chiz Escudero finally stops ignoring the talks.
He faces the media in Naga City, two days after the parents of his actress-girlfriend Heart Evangelista go public.
Heart's mom and dad tell media, they disapprove of the re-electionist.
Cecile and Rey Ongpauco accuse their daughter's boyfriend of being arrogant, disrespectful and an alcoholic.
Escudero says he wants to separate his public life from his personal life.
But he says he can't take it anymore.
ESCUDERO: Malaki syempre ang epekto nito sa kanya. Nasasaktan siya, nalulungkot. Wala akong pinakita or ginawang masama kay Heart at sa mga magulang niya. Alam nila yun.
(Of course this has a huge effect on Heart. She's hurt, sad. I have done and shown nothing wrong to Heart and her parents. They know that.)
He says Heart's parents want only one thing:
ESCUDERO: Lahat ng ito, lahat ng ginawa at ng sinabi nila lahat ng gagawin at sasabihin pa nila, isa lamang naman ang rason at puno't dulo, nanggaling naman mismo sa kanila, gusto nila kami paaghiwalayain.
(All of this, all they've done and said, all they will say and do, there's only one reason for all of it. They even said it themselves: they want us to split up.)
He expresses his love for his 28-year-old girlfriend, who is 16 years younger.
ESCUDERO: Mabait siya, matalino, masayahin, masarap kausap... Mahal ko siya
(She's kind, smart, a happy person, fun to talk to... I love her)
Escudero refuses to entertain other questions outside his statement.
On stage, his fellow candidates talk about his character as part of their speech, something they've never done before.
GRACE POE, TEAM PNOY SENATORIAL BET: Sen Chiz Escudero, na halos nagsisislibing campaign manager ko, isang mabait na kaibigan na maasahan mo pag ika'y nagigipit.
(Sen Chiz Escudero, he's practically my campaign manager -- a good friend you can rely on when you're in trouble)
JUN MAGSAYSAY JR, TEAM PNOY SENATORIAL BET: Sen Chiz Escudero, he is a good man. He's going to be like Raul Roco, pero masmatinik sa mga girlfriend. Isa lang pala! May puso yan may puso (but he's deadlier with girls. Oh he only has one! He has a big heart).
Other candidates also say it is a personal issue which shouldn't matter to the public.
RISA HONTIVEROS, TEAM PNOY SENATORIAL BET: It seems that issue right now is something between him and the particular person concerned and her relatives if they really have those concerns.
Earlier, the opposition had called on Escudero to respond because it raises questions about his character.
Do personal issues and relationships matter during elections?
In general, Filipino voters don't distinguish between personal and professional.
Former President Joseph Estrada's womanizing was never an issue with his fans.
But Filipino values -- like respect for elders -- and humility-- are things voters look for.
Natashya Gutierrez, Rappler, Naga City. - Rappler.com
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