Ongpaucos on Escudero : 'Iba siya, nakakatakot siya'
Actress has become 'hostile,' says mom
MANILA (UPDATED) - The parents of actress Heart Evangelista have expressed their strong objection to her relationship with Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero, detailing instances when they felt "disrespected" by the lawmaker who they accused of being "arrogant" and an "alcoholic."
On Tuesday, Cecile and Rey Ongpauco, the parents of the actress whose real name is Love Marie Ongpauco, held a press conference to formally appeal to their daughter and Escudero to reconsider their relationship.
The move of the Ongpaucos comes after Escudero's statement last month that he intends to marry Evangelista in five years.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News' Mario Dumaual, Cecile expressed "concern about the future of our daughter."
"She has not thought about this sufficiently or properly. We think she should think about this for a longer period of time. Nag-aalala lang kami sa anak namin," she said.
Cecile went on to enumerate their reasons for opposing their daughter's relationship with the lawmaker. One reason she cited is that Evangelista and Escudero may not be able to marry as Catholics.
Referring to the annulment of Escudero's marriage with his former wife Christine Flores last year, Cecile said: "He was married with two children and he got an annulment in court, but not in the Catholic church. That means he can only marry our daughter outside the Catholic church."
"Our family, including Heart, is Catholic, so we do not wish for Heart not to marry in the Catholic church," she said.
Cecile also cited the age difference between her 28-year-old daughter and the 42-year-old Escudero, and Evangelista's supposed lack of preparedness for a domestic life.
"Natatakot lang kami para kay Heart, dahil para sa amin hindi pa siya handa maging isang asawa ng isang politician na napakatanda sa kanya, nang 16 years," she said.
"Parati naman naming sinusuportahan si Heart. Hindi naman sanay si Heart sa gawaing bahay, o pagpapatakbo ng bahay, kasi masyado namin na-baby 'yan, overprotected, na-sheltered masyado," she said.
The third reason for their objection, Cecile said, is Escudero's alleged "fondness" for alcohol. Recalling their first meeting with the senator, the Ongpauco couple said they felt disrespected by Escudero, who Rey even referred to as "lasinggero."
"Sa aming experience kay Mr. Escudero," Cecile said, "parang nakikita namin na mahilig siyang uminom. Noong unang pagkakataon na nagpakilala siya sa amin dahil hiniling niya kay Heart na ipakilala siya... dumating siya, nakainom. Amoy ng alak. Nakasalampak doon sa sala namin, parang ganoon. Noong ikalawang beses na pumunta siya sa bahay namin, ganoon ulit, nakainom, nang-aalok pa ng bote ng alak."
Rey added: "Wala akong nakitang maganda eh. Puro arogante siya, bastos. Makakita ka namang pinakilala sa akin, nakahilata sa upuan, lasing. Una kaming nag-meet, 'yun na agad ang nakita ko sa kanya."
"Tuwing nakikita ko, naka-inom. Kawawa naman 'yung anak mo, hindi natin masabi, balang araw... siyempre concerned kami eh, natatakot kami para sa anak namin, baka may mangyari," he said.
Referring to their earlier meetings with Escudero, Cecile said her family feels that the lawmaker has never given them any respect.
"Feeling namin itong Mr. Escudero na 'to, never nagpakita ng respeto sa aming pamilya. Pupunta siya sa bahay namin, nakainom, nakaupo, nakasalampak sa upuan, nakabukaka roon," she said. "Minsan lumabas ang anak ko kasama niya, nagkita sila nung isa naming kamag-anak, binati 'yung anak ko. Tapos itong si Mr. Escudero ni hindi man in-acknowledge, ni hindi man pinansin na may kamag-anak kami na dumating."
"Sa aming pamilya, ang tingin namin doon, ang aming pakiramdam doon, wala siyang respeto, 'di ba?" Cecile said.
The Ongpauco matriarch also recalled an incident when Escudero allegedly ignored her when she visited Evangelista's film set.
"Ito lang nakaraan, bumisita lang ako, sinorpresa ko ang anak ko sa isang location taping. Pag dating ko roon, pati 'yung direktor, lahat tumatayo, abalang-abala sila, pinapaupo ako lahat. Pero itong si Mr. Escudero nakasalampak lang doon ulit sa upuan," she narrated.
"Nakita na niya na binibigyan akong respeto, pero para bang...hindi ko maintindihan kung sinasadya, kung anuman 'yon. I felt humiliated, I felt embarrassed," she said.
In detailing their fifth reason for disapproving the relationship, Cecile cited "reliable sources" in saying that Escudero has "certain strange habits hidden from the public view."
"We are very concerned that this kind of news might be based on truth. Siyempre nag-aalala kami para sa aming anak," she said.
For their sixth reason, both Rey and Cecile said that they hoped Escudero would have been more "traditional" in courting their daughter.
"Mr. Escudero has never given us the courtesy of formally asking my daughter's hand, or even asking our permission to court her, so that he could tell us about himself about his family. This behavior is not accpetable in our Philippine culture," Cecile said.
Evangelista's mother even accused Escudero of "manipulating our daughter against us. He is feeding her with arguments to use in order that she will become estranged, and now is almost hostile to us, her family."
Rey revealed that they no longer have any communication with their daughter since she already moved out of her condominium unit in the same building where her parents also have a unit.
"Hindi na ako nakakausap eh. Wala na eh. Umalis na nga sa condo bigla eh. Sa amin, para ka naman sinampal noon eh, ang tagal mong inano eh... biglang mawawala. Anong dahilan? Eh 'di may dahilan," he said.
Cecile added: "Alalang-alala na kami sa anak namin, and up to this time, Mr. Escudero has not even bothered and refuses to explain himself to us."
Evangelista's mother also blamed Escudero for allegedly causing the rift in their family. She likewise appealed to the senator to "cool off" with the actress to give her time to reconsider their relationship.
"Sinasabi ni Mr. Escudero na naiipit lang daw siya sa kalagitnaan nitong away-pamilya. Kasinungalingan ho iyon. Siya ang talagang puno't dulo, ang pinanggagalingan ng problema naming pamilya ngayon," she said. "Umaapela ngayon kami kay Mr. Escudero, kung maaari lang naman, pabayaan niya nalang muna 'yung anak namin para medyo magpalamig nang kaunti, makapag-isip-isip."
In an statement on Wednesday, Escudero said he prefers to distance himself from the supposed tiff between Evangelista and her parents.
"Hindi ako showbiz. Hiwalay ang pulitika sa personal na buhay. Ayaw kong manghimasok sa hindi pagkakaunawaan sa pagitan ng anak at ng kanyang mga magulang," he said.
Message for Heart, Chiz
Both Rey and Cecile maintained, however, that they "have no problems" with their daughter, and are merely calling on Esudero to leave their daughter and straighten out himself.
Photos courtesy of Evangelista's Instagram page
"Wala kaming problema kay Heart," Cecile said. "Ang problema namin itong si Mr. Escudero. Parang kakaiba siya, nakakatakot siya para sa isang magulang. Nakakatakot na tao."
"Akala namin nung umpisa, 'Wow, mukhang matalino naman, magaling magsalita,' eh sa personal palang buhay... so as a parent, nakakatakot," she said.
Rey echoed Cecile's sentiments: "Ang masasabi ko, sana pag-isipan niya 'yung ginagawa niya. I-ayos niya naman. Hindi 'yung maganda siya sa publiko, pero ang katotohanan ibang tao siya."
"Huwag naman ganoon. Kung marami siyang pamilyang ginaganoon, 'wag naman kami. Pati 'yung anak namin na-involve tuloy... Kaya it's about time na magsalita na ako. Ayoko ng mga ganito eh, kaya lang kailangan malaman nila kung ano siya," he said.
Stressing that they merely want the best for their daughter, Rey said they are not meddling with her affairs but are hoping that she think things through regarding her supposed plans to settle down with the senator.
Asked for his message to his daughter, Rey said, "Ang masasabi ko sa anak ko, Heart, sana makapag-isip-isip ka rin. Unahin mo muna ang magulang mo bago ibang tao. Pag-isipan mo 'yan. Darating ang araw, baka ibalik sayo 'yang, magka-anak ka, 'yung anak mo bastusin ka rin. Hindi maganda 'yan."
"At sana mag-isip ka rin na huwag naman kaagad 'yan, kung ano man ang naiisip mo, nabibigla ka. It takes time. Bigyan mo ng time ang sarili, bigyan mo ng panahon. May career ka pang dapat tapusin. Huwag kang pabigla-bigla, mag-isip ka muna... Hindi kami nakiki-alam sa'yo, concerned lang kami sa'yo," he said.
Evangelista, meanwhile, on Monday took to micro-blogging site Twitter to openly express her love for Esudero. She also appealed to her parents to let her be with the senator, saying she has found happiness.
“It happened to me a long time with Jericho (Rosales) and at that time, I was very young kaya nagparaya ako and I thought it would make my parents happy. I understand that, you know, they want the best for me and they are very protective,” she said in an interview with "24 Oras" that aired Tuesday.
“Nahihiya lang ako, of course, kay Chiz and sa family niya kasi wala naman silang ipinakitang masama sa akin. Napakabait nila tapos nagkaroon pa ng mga kasinungalingan, ng mga paninira,” Evangelista said.
“Nahanap ko na ‘yung taong para sa akin. Huwag na nila ilayo ang taong mahal ko. Masaya na ako and everybody deserves to be happy,” she added.
During the press conference on Tuesday, the Ongpaucos also emphasized that their going public with their tiff with Escudero has nothing to do with politics.
Escudero is seeking re-election in the May 13 polls.