MANILA - Former "Pinoy Big Brother" housemate Michele Gumabao said her family is trying to stay strong days after her father, former congressman and actor Dennis Roldan, was found guilty of masterminding the kidnapping of a 3-year-old Chinese-Filipino boy in 2005.
Gumabao was asked for her reaction to her father's conviction Thursday on the sidelines of the ABS-CBN trade concert "Kapamilya: All Out" at the network's studios in Quezon City.
She reiterated that Roldan, whose real name is Mitchell Gumabao, is set to ask the Court of Appeals to overturn the ruling of Judge Rolando Mislang of Pasig City Regional Trial Court Branch 167 last Tuesday.
"In terms of the decision, for me, wala tayong magagawa. Nasabi na nila. We're going to take it as a sign na lang for us," Gumabao said.
Asked if she is concerned that the conviction of her father might affect her and brother Marco's opportunities in showbiz, Gumabao said: "I don't think naman... Ako, personally, it won't affect me, because I know who my dad is and I'm proud of him no matter what. I'm sure gano'n din 'yung stand ng kapatid ko."
"In or out of showbiz, we love our dad, we know our dad, and our relationship with our dad is solid. I know a lot of people support him, lalo na ngayon. I'm proud of him," she added.
Two of Roldan's companions, Rowena San Andres and Adrian Domingo, were also found guilty beyond reasonable doubt in the kidnap-for-ransom case.
The three are sentenced to reclusion perpetua. No parole was recommended.
Judge Mislang also ordered the three to pay P100,000 in civil indemnity, P100,000 for moral damages and P100,000 for exemplary damages to the family of the kidnap victim.
"This is a minor setback for him," Gumabao said. "Alam kong gagamitin siya ni God kahit saan man siya. It's all a matter of location, kung saan lang talaga siya gagamitin."
Roldan, a former basketball player, entered show business before venturing into politics. He was elected congressman of Quezon City's 3rd District in 1992.
He later became a pastor of Jesus Christ the Life Giver Ministry based in Quezon City.
Gumabao, who rose to fame as a star player of De La Salle University's volleyball team, said she is grateful to those who have expressed their support to her father and their family.
Marco, a cast member of ABS-CBN's "Luv U," has also been getting encouraging messages on Twitter after he voiced out his support for Roldan on the microblogging site.
"I want to thank everyone who really believes in my dad and who really believes in our family," Gumabao said. "I know that this is only the beginning, and we're really going to work harder as a family and stay together. We're going to stay strong."
Gumabao added: "Whatever happens, we're always going to be here beside our dad. We're happy, whatever happens. We're going to smile and we're going to keep on inspiring people, because that's what we're called to do. And alam ko, God's will lahat ang nangyayaring ito."