MANILA, Philippines – Actor Cesar Montano, who is running for governor of Bohol, has denied that he is using the death of his son to boost his chances in May elections.
Montano’s 23-year-old son, Christian Angelo Manhilot, committed suicide on March 26 allegedly due to "love problems." Angelo was Montano's son by a first wife who passed away some years ago.
In his taped interview with “The Buzz,” Montano said it never occurred to him to use the tragedy to get ahead of his opponents.
“Hindi nga ako nagsasalita. ‘Yong salita ko, ‘Please respect our [privacy].’ Wala po sa puso ko ‘yon. Hindi ko po gagawin ‘yan. That would be the least na maiisip ko para sa anak ko at sa aming pamilya,” he said.
It was Montano’s first interview since the tragedy occurred last month. During the exclusive interview, the actor-turned-politician discussed how he and his family were coping with Angelo’s death.
“Pagdating namin dito (house in Quezon City), hindi pa rin ako makapaniwala na wala na siya. May mga few days pa ako na hindi makapaniwala. But I keep on talking about it to convince myself na wala nga si Angelo,” he said.
“Si Shine (wife Sunshine Cruz) from day one grabe yan. Hagulgol talaga to the max. Dahil nga kapag pinapagalitan ko minsan si Angelo, ang takbuhan niya si Sunshine,” he added.
Montano, who was in Bohol when the incident took place, also admitted that sometimes he would berate himself for failing to stop the tragedy.
“Talagang napakaraming sana ganito. Sana sinama ko na the day before, sana sinama ko na agad siya sa Bohol, sana noong last week pa sana nakausap ko siya, sana ganito.
“Well, in retrospect, hindi lang ako ang ganoon. Mga pinsan niya, mga kabarkada niya. Pati si Angela (Angelo’s sister), [sinabi niya] sana sinagot ko siya noong nag-text siya sa akin na, ‘I need somebody to talk to,’” he said.
He also shared that Angelo once appeared in his dream.
“It's a very,very clear dream. Ang first niyang tagubilin, ‘Please, pakisabi mo sa kanila, ipag-pray ako.’ At ‘Okay lang ako dito.’ ‘Yung pangatlo is lagi ko silang kasama.”
Although it is hard for him, Montano said he has to move on eventually. The actor also conceded that everything happens for a reason.
“If God didn’t allow it to happen, hindi talaga mangyayari ‘yon. If God decided to take Angelo's life a month ago, nangyari ‘yon… My appeal to all friends of Angelo, our friends also, ‘yong mga nakikinig po, sana tulungan niyo akong ipagdasal si Angelo.”