MANILA - Independent senatorial candidate Ricardo Penson denied Wednesday beating up his ex-wife, actress Dina Bonnevie.
Penson, president and chief executive officer of Ausphil Tollways Corporation, told ANC’s Headstart that he has already answered Bonnevie's claim that he used to beat her when they were married.
Asked about the allegations of wife-beating, he said: “That is what she filed. No, I never did that. My friends, my family would know the truth and I think the court records are there. The judge said; ‘How can that be true? Your father is a lawyer. Mr Penson is so big. You're so small. There's no medical record.”
He added: “Check the records. I don’t want to go against a former wife. I'd like to get the record straight. It is a public record. It’s there. All the answers are there.”
Penson said he still says “hello” when he sees Bonnevie but admitted they are not friends.
“I think there’s no need. She is in a better place now. She's married right now, I believe. When we see each other, we say hello. We don’t have to be friends,” he said.
Penson and Bonnevie were married in civil rites on May 10, 1996 and then separated in June 1998. Bonnevie filed for annulment after discovering that Penson had previously been married to three different women before their own marriage.
Several online news reports said the actress confirmed rumors that she was a battered wife and even accused Penson of forcing her to have sex every time he was high on drugs.
In the interview, Penson said he now backs the reproductive health law after it was passed by Congress.
He also supports the passage of a divorce law. “Divorce needs serious consultation with the people because we have the annulment law and legal separation but it is not fair to both parties and divorce will give that fairness,” he said.
Not on speaking terms with Juico
Penson said he decided to run for senator since he does not believe the current Senate gives a fair representation of the Filipino people. For one thing, he said the Upper Chamber is slowly being overrun by dynasties.
“Do we need 2 Cayetanos? Do we need 2 Enriles? Do we need 2 Estrada children? Do we need 2 of each for a senatorial seat when there are 96 million people to be represented? I don’t think so. Representation system should be better spread out to all sectors of society so everybody can have fair share in representation,” he said.
Penson has filed a petition for mandamus before the Supreme Court, urging the court to compel Congress to pass an enabling law that will define political dynasties.
Penson also admitted that he is not on speaking terms with his older sister, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office chairwoman Margie Juico, since President Aquino won the 2010 [residential election. The senatorial candidate said Juico is the only Penson sibling who has not professed support for his campaign.
“I come from a family of 10 children, 10 very opinionated children. Our parents are very independent people. We were trained that way. Margie is a Juico now. Her family is the Juico family now. I can only say hello to her. We used to be very close. We were, in fact, of the siblings, we were the closest,” he said.
“There is really no animosity. It's just that we have different opinions on a lot of things especially since she joined government. I had a different view of how public service should be,” he added.
Penson said he hopes to get the votes of the “unrepresented” and the poorest of the poor Filipinos in the senatorial election. A former student activist, he said he also has the mass base support of Sanlakas and Partido Lakas ng Masa, which have backed his candidacy.
He also revealed he has spent nearly P10 million of his own money for the campaign. “We are not getting campaign funds from anybody. We don’t intend to have strings attached,” he said.