Ongpaucos threaten to file charges vs Chiz
MANILA -- The mother of Heart Evangelista turned emotional as she appealed to her daughter to reconcile with her father, whose health she said has been affected by the actress' decision to stand by her boyfriend Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero.
In a press conference held Thursday, Cecile Ongpauco expressed sadness over Evangelista's "anger" towards her father, Rey, for going public with their disapproval of her relationship with the lawmaker.
Cecile said the 28-year-old actress' estrangement has left Rey ill, and is now refusing to eat. The Ongpauco couple earlier said Evangelista no longer lives in a condominium unit in the same building where they also live.
Referring to her husband, Cecile said on Thursday, "He could not eat anymore. He didn't eat. Her dad has a lot of... he's turning 70, and he's not very vocal about how he feels."
"I had to call my other daughter to come because I could feel his pain. He couldn't eat anymore, he was choking, I was trying to make him eat... Sobra, sobra," she said.
Turning emotional, Cecile said this is the first time any of their children expressed anger toward their parents.
"He totally doesn't deserve that as a father," the Ongpauco matriarch said. "He's been the best father to our children, and dapat hindi ganoon, kasi we didn't raise her that way."
A tearful Cecile went on to address her daughter in expressing her disappointment.
"You've done all these things to me, but your father does not deserve this. He does not. You know how much your father loves you," she said.
"Alam na niya na angdami nang sakit ng dad niya. Dapat hindi ganoon, Heart. Hindi ka namin pinalaking ganoon. You know that. Ako pwede pa eh. It's okay ako, but not dad. He's been the best father to you, Heart," Cecile said.
Heart, Chiz react
The actress' estrangement from her parents stems from their going public with their appeal to Escudero and their daughter to reconsider their relationship.
The Ongpauco couple cited several reasons for their objection to the relationship, including Escudero's alleged "fondness" for alcohol, his being 16 years older than Evangelista, and the possibility that the senator and their youngest daughter may not marry as Catholics.
Both Rey and Cecile emphasized their disdain for Escudero's alleged alcoholism, saying it is among the reasons behind the growing tension within their family.
Evangelista, in a statement, has denied her parents' allegations against Escudero. She also apologized to her boyfriend and to members of his family who may have been affected by the Ongpauco couple's accusations.
Referring to her daughter's response to the issue, Cecile said, "I know my daughter enough to say that she is being controlled to try to help Mr. Escudero. It (statement) was fed to her and made her sign. She's just so trusting, and it's so easy for him to control her that way."
Escudero, meanwhile, has expressed confidence that he and Evangelista will overcome the controversy. He said, however, that is hurt by the allegations of Cecile and Rey.
"Nadadamay ang mga anak ko pati nanay ko, lumalabas na parang hindi ako pinalaki ng maayos," he said on Thursday.
The 42-year-old lawmaker has two children with his former wife Christine Flores. Their marriage was annulled last year.
Legal charges vs Chiz
In a press conference on Thursday, Cecile addressed Escudero's statement that his own family has been affected by the controversy.
"He has children. When they grow up, I wish they don't experience such a thing. As a mother, for his mother, I feel for them, I'm sorry. I'm just simply narrating things as I experienced it, that's all," she said.
"I don't mean to cause his family pain, it's just that we are suffering now because of the way his actions have been towards our family, towards me.
"I pray that he will not experience the same with his own children, his own family, because it's really hurtful, and I don't wish anyone to be subjected to what he has subjected our family to," Cecile said.
She likewise addressed Escudero's statement that he feels as though he is belittled by both Ongpaucos.
"We're not belittling anyone. We are simply asking and begging him not to do this to our family. I have personally suffered... I don't think anyone deserves to be subjected to such pain. It's such pain," she said.
According to Cecile, their family's legal counsel has advised them that they can file legal charges against Escudero, supposedly on the basis of their earlier encounters with the lawmaker.
"We might file an additional criminal complaint for incriminating. Furthermore, we will file a civil complaint, because we were advised that we can file for damages under the Civil Code.
"We intend to file cases against Chiz -- a criminal case for libel, for claiming that he is caught in the middle of this family feud, when in fact he is the source of this family feud that we are now experiencing," she said.
Heart not truly in love?
Saying Evangelista has a certain "pattern" when it comes to her romantic relationships, Cecile also advised Escudero to re-assess his idea that the actress is truly in love with him.
"Honestly she always loses her head when she's with someone, and when she falls in love -- her behavior with all her former boyfriends have been the same, including Chiz -- she follows a pattern of total submission, she subordinates herself and caters to their every whim. That's how she is.
"If Chiz thinks that he is special to her, he's very wrong. He's wrong. Because this is the same pattern she does with all her prior boyfriends. So if he thinks my daughter is in love with him, she has this pattern, and that's how it is," she said.
Cecile said her daughter's being "naive" and "overprotected" has worked to the advantage of Escudero, whom she accused of manipulating the actress.
"It's just that this Mr. Escudero has some kind of power, he can totally manipulate our daughter. I simply wish he could find someone his own age, and as they say, find someone his own size, and not to do this to my daughter.
"She's 28, but everyone knows how innocent she is, how naive she is, how overprotected shes been, and I wish he wouldn't take advantage of that," Cecile said.