MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Francis Pangilinan, husband of Megastar Sharon Cuneta, denied rumors that he fathered an illegitimate child, adding such rumors were part of the dirty tricks used to besmirch the names of those running for higher office.
"It's dirty tricks coming from those who continue to feel that one of my strong points is my being a family man, my being faithful to Sharon, and my being a doting father to KC, Frankie and Miel," he explained to host Karen Davila in ANC's Headstart on Monday.
The two-term incumbent senator was hounded by rumors of an illicit affair since 2007 when reports came out that his married life was turning sour. The couple was mum on the issue. Pangilinan has 2 biological daughters with Cuneta, Frankie and Miel. He has legally adopted host-actress KC Concepcion and the couple are planning to adopt a boy named Miguel.
"Ilang taon na [ang rumors but] where are the pictures? [The rumors have been there for years but where are the pictures?]" Pangilinan challenged. "I'm in politics and unfortunately there are dirty tricks as we saw in the last elections. It is dirty politicking, it is malicious rumors spread by my political opponents. Sabi nga nila, if showbiz is terrible, politics is even worse," he said.
Pangilinan also noted that the rumors did not surface in the recent election period because he did not run for any position.
"If you noticed, dahil hindi nga ako candidate... Lumabas ba yung tsismis sa akin nung nakaraang ilang buwan?" he said. "Hindi nga ako kailangang siraan kasi nga hindi naman ako threat. Paninira ito at kasinungalingan, [If you noticed, did any rumors came out about me during the election campaign? Because I'm not a candidate, my political opponents doesn't find me as a threat. The rumors are pure lies to ruin my good name], " Pangilinan reiterated.
"That's the long and short behind the rumors of my supposed infidelity," he said.
On Korina: 'We're adults'
Pangilinan also clarified that he is in good terms with Liberal Party vice-presidential bet and fellow Senator Manuel "Mar" Roxas despite the rift he had with Roxas's wife, broadcaster Korina Sanchez.
"Mar and I are okay, we were able to strengthen our working relationship during the campaign so we're fine," he said.
In 2009, Sanchez called Pangilinan names in an interview with Ted Failon on dzMM after Pangilinan allegedly asked Roxas to give way for Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III. Roxas was the standard-bearer of the party before the death of former president Corazon Aquino.
"Masakit yung nangyari but the important thing is that we saw the task at hand; we had to unite behind Noynoy and Mar because that would be best for the nation so our own feelings, we have to set aside," Pangilinan explained.
Pangilinan, however, did not clarify if he and Sanchez talked during the campaign season where they were both extensively campaigning for the tandem. He also said he and Roxas have not discussed the rift.
"[Talk about what happened?] Not really. I'd like to quote Mar but on a different topic: we're all adults, we're all grown-ups so in the long run... For me, tapos na yun," he said. "I fully understood where she was coming from. Sa akin it was a non-issue."-abs-cbnNEWS.com