MANILA — An emotional Sharon Cuneta on Monday said she hopes Vice President Leni Robredo will succeed President Rodrigo Duterte in 2022, so that some semblance of "decency" will be restored in the country.
In a nearly hour-long Instagram live video, the music icon opened up about the emotional turmoil of the last few weeks, in light of her daughter Frankie Pangilinan being the target of a rape threat online.
Cuneta has been actively seeking out the man behind the threat, vowing to bring him to justice in successive social media posts.
The man, a certain Sonny Alcos, is identified as a "solid DDS," or a loyal supporter of Duterte, in the viral post that Cuneta shared when she first exposed the threat.
Her statements against the rape threat, Cuneta said, have drawn the ire of Duterte's followers, prompting her to clarify her warm ties with the president as well as his family.
"I've always been good, or at least I've tried separating politics from friendships and relationships," she said in her live video.
Cuneta is the wife of opposition senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan, and the daughter of the late former Pasay Mayor Pablo Cuneta.
"Ang trato sa akin ng Pangulo parang anak niya, ang tawag niya pa sa akin, 'the singer of my life,' tapos mahal ko si Inday Sara kasi maliit pa 'yan Sharonian na 'yan," she said, referring to the president's daughter and incumbent Davao City mayor.
Duterte, according to Cuneta, was also the one who convinced her brother, Chet, to run for Pasay mayor in 2019. Chet lost.
Cuneta then pointed out that despite Duterte publicly attacking Pangilinan in his speeches — at one point falsely claiming that the couple has separated — she has chosen time and again to be understanding.
Illustrating further examples of separating politics from her relationships, Cuneta recounted how she opted not to campaign for any presidential candidate in 2016.
She did not campaign for the late Miriam Defensor-Santiago, despite her being Cuneta's "idol"; nor for Jejomar Binay, despite him being a family friend who even officiated her wedding with Pangilinan; nor for Duterte, despite their close relationship; nor for Mar Roxas, despite him being in the same ticket as Pangilinan.
"Ang gusto ko talagang maging presidente noon si Sen. Grace Poe. Isa pang ubod ng disente... Hindi ko siya makapanya noon dahil si Kiko was with the administration," she said.
"I wanted Sen. Grace Poe to win, at alam ni Tatay (Duterte) 'yun."
Cuneta recalled that she did campaign for Robredo. She attested to Robredo and her late husband Jesse Robredo's spotless record of public service in Bicol.
"I don't know what's happened to our country. I hope VP Leni runs for president next time, dahil hindi na rin naman makakatakbo si Tatay next time," she said, noting the one-term limit for chief executives.
"Napakadisente," she added, describing Robredo. "Nakakatakot na kasi... Ngayon lang ako naka-experience ng ganito."
Cuneta admitted that even during her father's term as Pasay mayor, she was mostly apolitical. What opened her eyes was the People Power revolution that toppled the Marcos regime, she said, because then she finally understood why a president shouldn't be in power "forever."
"Pagkatapos ng term ni Pangulong Duterte, sana talaga manalo si VP Leni kung tumakbo siya. Baka sakaling bumalik ang pagka disente ng karamihan sa atin."