MANILA, Philippines – Actor-comedian Dennis Padilla has responded to his son Leon Barretto’s open letter, where he was asked by Leon to “stop resorting to public shaming.” Dennis said that he was now trying to reach out to his estranged children in private.
On Sunday, June 26, Leon penned a long message on Instagram addressed to Dennis: “It seems that social media is your preferred way to reach us so maybe I can try it too.” .
Leon’s post comes after Dennis earlier expressed disappointment that Julia, Claudia, and Leon, his children from former wife Marjorie, seemingly forgot to greet him on Father’s Day.
“Sorry if I wasn’t able to greet you a ‘Happy Father’s Day.’ It’s always been an awkward day for us cause we never seem to know where we stand with you every year,” Leon explained, adding that he had always envied those who don’t hesitate to greet their dads during the holiday.
The 19-year-old then detailed their attempts to reconcile with the actor, but admitted it was difficult given Dennis’ public remarks about their private matters. “For the past 10 years, we have been trying so hard to slowly rebuild the bridge you continuously burn every time you talk about our private matters in your press cons, interviews, and social media. Papa, why does it seem like you enjoy hurting your kids in public? Why do you keep posting cryptic posts about us and allow people to bash us on your own Instagram page? Do you think it does not pain all of us to not feel protected by their own father?” he wrote.
Leon also disclosed that on the few times that they do try talking to resolve their issues, Dennis ends up “shouting, cursing, and using hurtful words that traumatize” them. He added that it seems like their father is more concerned about public sympathy than the welfare of his own children.
“Your words have the power to destroy your children, papa,” he said. According to Leon, the open letter was his way of stepping up to protect his sisters after watching them “get torn into pieces because of your false narratives.”
Leon ended his post by expressing his desire to “move forward in the safest and healthiest manner possible.” “I want peace, papa. Can you please stop resorting to public shaming when things don’t go your way,” he concluded.
Following Leon’s post, Dennis apologized to his son. “Miss ko lang kayo (I just miss you)…. Just want to know what false narrative I said in public? [I’ve] been reaching out to all of you in private,” he wrote.
Dennis and Marjorie separated in 2007. Their three kids, Julia, Claudia, and Leon, have been staying with their mom.
In 2021, Julia also opened up about her relationship with her dad, saying that he saw Dennis’ “change of heart.” – Rappler.com