MANILA, Philippines -- Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio denied persistent rumors that he and young actress Bea Binene have been spotted having "one-on-one" dates, the alleged root of speculations romantically linking him to the 14-year-old actress.
Topacio on Thursday laughed off allegations that he and Binene are an item, saying that the young actress is like a daughter to him.
"Hindi [kaming dalawa lang], may mga kasama kami, business meeting 'yun. 'Yun ay tungkol dun sa kanyang foundation, at wala namang malisya yun," he said in an interview on dzMM Thursday.
"Wala na, laos na tayo, matanders (slang for 'old') na tayo. Parang anak nalang natin 'yun," he added.
In a press statement, Topacio had said that Binene is a close friend and client of his law office. He said they are helping her pro bono in organizing a charity group for underprivileged children.
"Ni-launch namin, if I'm not mistaken, December 20 sa Sto. Tomas, Batangas, so 'yun lang 'yun," Topacio maintained.
Topacio, who is not new to having celebrities as clients -- he had been the legal counsel of actress Yasmin Kurdi and sexy comedienne Angelica Jones -- also affirmed radio program host Jobert Sucaldito's statement that Binene's mother laughed off the issue because their family has full trust in the lawyer.
Topacio, in his initial statement responding to the rumors, said that they are studying their legal options regarding the issue.
"It is my fervent hope and prayer that this unfortunate episode will soon pass, and that this will not affect the trust and friendship that Ms. Binene and I have for each other," he said at the time.