MANILA, Philippines -- Actor John Estrada is angered by the statement of his former wife, actress Janice de Belen, that he is allegedly not "supporting his children right."
|John Estrada addresses a statement made by former wife Janice de Belen on his alleged lack of support for their four children. Both Kapamilya stars were married in 1992, but separated in 2001.
"I think this is the right time. My kids are grown up. May utak na silang sarili nila. And gusto ko lang sabihin na never ko pinabayaan ang mga anak ko," the 41-year-old actor said in an interview with ABS-CBN News' Ginger Conejero on Thursday.
Early this week, de Belen, who has been vocal about cutting ties with her former husband, said any communication with Estrada is only on the subject of their four children.
"It’s not about me... Sa akin, simple lang. It has nothing to do with me, it has nothing to do with my past with him. It’s just simple, support your children right," the 44-year-old actress-host said.
Estrada and de Belen were married in 1992. They separated in 2001 amid rumors romantically linking Estrada to fellow "Magandang Tanghali Bayan" host Vanessa del Bianco.
Their marriage was annulled in 2004.
In February 2011, Estrada married former beauty queen Priscilla Meirelles, with whom he has a one-year-old baby girl named Anechka.
'I support my kids'
Clarifying his alleged lack of financial support for his children with de Belen, Estrada cited a court order which requires him to render a specific amount.
"'Yung sinasabi ni Janice na magiging okay kami if I support my kids right, korte na po ang nagsasabi -- kasi dinala niya ako sa korte na I didn't contest -- ito dapat ang ibigay mo sa mga anak mo, 'yun talaga," he said.
"Ano pa bang hindi tama na korte na nagsabi na ito dapat ang ibibigay ko sa mga anak ko? And I give more," he said.
Estrada went on to detail the forms of support he has given his children over the years.
"I love my kids. Isa nag-graduate na ng college na mula naghiwalay kami [ni Janice], ako nagbabayad ng tuition, medical, dental. May monthly sila, may pakotse pa sila," he said.
He added: "Eh bakit kailangan ko naman sabihin sa tao 'yun? Bakit naman kailangan ipagyabang 'yun o isiwalat sa publiko? Why?"
Admittedly, Estrada said there was a recent instance when he had been "late" in giving financial support to his children with de Belen.
"Totoo 'yon, may times talaga na hindi ako sa oras, pero na-compensate iyon. Hindi ibig sabihin hindi ako nagbibigay.
"Na-late ako, totoo 'yon, pero hindi ibig sabihin hindi ko na-meet 'yon through all these years. Thirteen years ang pinag-uusapan natin... Ganoon na ba tayo kababaw talaga?" he said.
Estrada also questioned his former wife's motive for bringing up the matter in a public interview.
"Masama ang loob ko, kasi through all these years... Believe me, marami akong pagkukulang sa mga anak ko. I'm not a perfect dad, but who is?
"At saka kung siya may pagkukulang siya sa mga anak ko, kailangan ko ba sabihin sa publiko 'yon, na eto ka? O siguro sa pagkatao na 'yon," he said.
The actor-host also addressed de Belen's being vocal of her aversion to working with him.
Early this week, de Belen once again went on record to say that she never intends to sit down for an interview with Estrada.
De Belen co-hosts the ABS-CBN entertainment talk show "Showbiz Inside Report," which airs on Saturdays.
Although Estrada once guested on the program in a taped interview, it was de Belen's co-host Joey Marquez who sat down with his "Palibhasa Lalake" co-star.
"Gusto ko lang naman sabihin po na hindi ko naman din hinangad na maka-one-on-one si Janice in an interview," Estrada said.
"Alam ko 'yun, na medyo imposible 'yon. So 'yung sa akin lang, lumabas na baka naman pinipilit sa side ko. No, no, no, hindi po talaga... At saka never naman na-bring up 'yon, na magkakatrabaho kami, so I just don't get it," he said.
Message for Janice
Asked for his message to de Belen, who has expressed time and again that no longer intends to re-marry, Estrada said he hopes his former wife finds happiness.
"You know what, I'm a happy man. Sa blessings na binibigay sa akin ng Diyos, sa asawa na binigay sa akin, sa bagong anak na binigay sa akin, sa mga anak ko kay Janice, ang swerte kong tao. I couldn't ask for more.
"And I wish Janice the same. I want her to be happy in her life. You know, maiksi lang ang buhay. I really hope, I wish the best for you. Sana talaga maging masaya ka," he said.