NAGA CITY, Philippines - Sen Chiz Escudero, a senatorial bet for the President's coalition Team PNoy, finally broke his silence.
On Thursday, March 21, Escudero held a mini-press conference to address the issues that has been thrown against him by the parents of his girlfriend-actress Heart Evangelista. The senatorial bet is here to attend a Team PNoy campaign sortie.
"I didn't want to talk and have wanted to keep my private life separate from my public life, but my kids and my mother are already getting affected," he said. "What Heart's parents are doing is just not right."
Escudero also mentioned his father who recently died as another reason for his decision to speak, and expressed disappointment that the way he was raised has come into question.
"I'm a father too. I have kids," he explained. "But I would never hold a press conference or destroy anybody if I had problems with my child."
Escudero is the father of twins with his ex-wife. Their marriage has been annulled.
"This has had a huge effect on Heart," he said, adding they were both happy before this happened.
Escudero admitted her parents were right in that he is not as wealthy as they are and could probably not provide for her as well financially, but he said "this is not a license to belittle me."
'Mahal ko siya'
Aside from this, Escudero said her parents know everything they said about him is untrue, saying he has never disrespected them in any way.
He also pointed to one reason on why the parents decided to criticize him: "They want to separate us," he explained.
Escudero defended his girlfriend, saying Heart can think for herself, and said he hoped whatever her decision, they all respect it.
"Mahal ko siya (I love her)," he said. "Masakit syempre (Of course it hurts)."
The re-electionist also expressed hope this would not be used against him politically and apologized for having to speak about it, but explained "it's too much."
He also asked to keep Heart out of it if they wanted to attack him.
Escudero refused to answer any other questions from reporters after his statement.
On Tuesday March 19, the parents of Heart -- Cecile and Rey Ongpauco -- faced the media to publicly disclose their disapproval of the senator.
The Ongpaucos accused Escudero of being an "alcoholic," calling him "arrogant" and accusing him of manipulating their daughter to go against them. They added, Escudero told Heart he would be president in 2016 and she would be his first lady.
Heart's parents have asked Escudero -- through the media -- to leave their daughter alone. They called him an "opportunist," and having a split personality.
The Ongpaucos are considering filing a libel case against Escudero for denying he is part of their family feud, as well as a criminal complaint "for incriminating an innocent person." They are also mulling a civil complaint against Escudero for supposedly disturbing their private lives,
Evangelista, 28, has defended her 44-year-old boyfriend, saying she is old enough to make her own decisions even as she thanked Escudero and his family for showing her love.
Escudero had earlier refused to respond, saying the problem is between Heart and her parents -- a showbiz issue -- and that he would rather not comment on his personal life.
The Ongpaucos deny their decision to come out have anything to do with the upcoming midterm elections, and said Heart's father simply could not take it anymore.
The two have had a history of disapproving of Heart's relationships. Heart has also appealed to political players to not use this against Escudero in the campaign. - Rappler.com