MANILA, Philippines – A tearful Ciara Sotto-Oconer defended her father, Senator Tito Sotto, against his critics over his plagiarized speeches on the Reproductive Health bill in a television interview on Tuesday.
On ABS-CBN morning show “Kris TV,” Ciara admitted that she and her siblings have been greatly affected by the issue, unlike their parents.
“Kami sobrang affected pero si mommy and daddy, they’re so calm. And my dad would always say ‘it’s okay, let them ruin me. God is on my side,’” she told “Kris TV” host Kris Aquino.
“I’m really, really proud of my dad, no matter what they say. He’s a good man, track record niya alam naman ni Senator Chiz (Escudero, who is a guest co-host on the show) ‘yun,” she added.
Ciara then burst into tears as she lamented how some of her family’s so-called friends were quick to judge her father.
“Ngayon ko lang nakikita ‘yung real friends namin, na kung sino talaga ‘yung mga kakampi mo,” she said. “Kasi dun mo makikita ‘yung parang, wow, di ba we helped you before? Now you’re saying these things? Ngayon lang talaga namin nalalaman ‘yung mga tunay naming kaibigan.”
The actress also described the senator as someone who “has this really really big heart and so forgiving.”
She urged the public to respect her father even if “his stand is not the popular one.”
Helen to Ciara: You’re doing the right thing
Ciara’s mother, “Walang Hanggan” star Helen Gamboa, praised the actress for “doing the right thing.”
In a phone conversation aired on “Kris TV,” Gamboa assured her daughter that it is okay if people do not share the senator’s stand on certain issues.
“God is watching us, God is watching everything. It’s okay if people don’t agree with your dad. They are entitled to their own opinion and we do not want to force them. In fact, we do not force them, it’s just that your dad stands by what he believes in,” she said.
“You’re doing it right, anak. Just what I taught you before, just believe in God’s commandments and you’ll never go wrong. Kung baga lahat ng ito na na-experience mo ngayon, sana nakikita mo kung ano ‘yung mali, kung ano ‘yung tama.
“I think we’re all on the right track. Kanya-kanya naman ‘yan anak, di ba, so okay lang ‘yun.”