MANILA - Pinoy music icon Freddie Aguilar is unfazed by criticisms that he is dating a 16-year-old girl, saying he plans to marry her soon even before she turns 18.
In an interview on ANC's Headstart, Aguilar, 60, addressed head-on the issue that he may face legal problems because of his relationship with a minor.
"Well, I fell in love. May kasabihan tayo, may batas ng tao, may batas ng puso, may batas ng Diyos. Then kung sa batas ng tao nagkamali ako then I will admit it but the difference about this is I fell in love and when I found out that she was a minor, the first thing I did was to notify the parents because I know na hindi tama. But for me to back out, we are already in love. I think it's more damaging to her if I back out now. I didn't ask her to choose," he said.
Aguilar said he has talked to the girl's parents, who have already given their blessing for their daughter to marry the music icon.
"I said 'magpaalam tayo sa nanay mo, sa tatay mo.' Then I met the mother, I talked to the father every now and then sa phone to assure that she's OK and payag naman sila if we decided to get married tomorrow," he said.
"The blessing is there. It's just that we decided to do it the right time. Mas maganda siguro na nakahanda kami financially, lahat lahat, yung maayos ang paligid ko, so kung may awa ang Diyos ito could be earlier," he added.
The "Anak" singer said he plans on marrying his sweetheart when she turns 18.
"I think if God is willing soon but we are talking two years from now kasi two years from now when she's already 18. At mayroon na siyang sariling desisyon na kung anuman ang mangyari sa amin pagdating niya ng 18 ay hindi na pwedeng sisihin 'kasi bata ako'. O ako naman hindi ko na pwedeng sabihin na 'kasi pinakasalan ko siya ng masyadong bata.' But then I cannot control tomorrow even today I can not control it myself so if God is willing probably it will be earlier," he said.
Asked if he believes their relationship is legal, Aguilar said: "If the parents allow me but I don't think they will not allow me because I talked with the grandmother also in fact the grandmother asked me 'pupunta ka ba dito para magpakasal kayo?' 'opo lola pupunta ako ng Mindoro kung yan ang gusto niyo."
He said he is ready to face anything that may come because of his love for the young girl.
"Well they can persecute me pero tumingin kayo sa paligid niyo mas marami pa ang matitindi ang ginagawa kaysa sa akin. These are also popular people. They brag about their wealth and their wives. Ako wala akong maraming asawa at maraming wealth na pinagyayabang. Ang asawa ko ay tatlo at pwede niyo silang tanungin kung naging masama akong asawa sa kanila ngayon na-in love ako sa pang-apat."
"Ngayon kung kasalanan ko pa din yon parang pini-personal niyo ako dahil hindi lang po ako ang ganito sa Pilipinas. Maging totoo kayo. Tumingin kayo sa paligid niyo ang dami diyan ngayon ako pinagti-tripan niyo. So what? May utang ba ako sa inyo? Masama ba ang umibig? Kung wala kayong kasalanan, batuhin niyo ako, ok? Masaya na kayo," he said.
'Take me as I am'
In the interview, Aguilar hit back at some people who criticized him for falling in love with a girl who is 44 years younger.
"I'm here, (if) you don't want me, I am sorry. I am Freddie Aguilar, take me for what I am. I'm not gonna be because you like me to be like this or like that, no way! I'm not a robot, I'm a human. I make mistake, I laugh, I cry, I eat, so what? Crucify me, yeah Ok but I'm still Freddie Aguilar," he said.
With all the reports coming out because of his newest romance, Aguilar said that people can't blame him for falling in love again.
"It's not my fault na hanggang ngayon ay marunong pa akong umibig. Hindi ko pinili ang puso na ibinigay sa akin ng Diyos na ganito ang mangyayari but mas malungkot siguro kung na-involved ako sa ibang paraan tulad noong umupo si Cory at inalok ako ng pwesto at di ko tinanggap. At kung tinanggap ko siguro at nagnakaw ako ng pondo ng bayan mas matindi siguro yon. Mas gusto ko pang tandaan nila ako na ako si Freddie Aguilar na isang 60-year-old na umibig sa isang bata na hindi ko naman alam na bata in the first place noong nakita ko. ... So, kung kasalanan ang umibig ay tatanggapin ko yon," said the singer, whose last marriage ended 10 years ago.
Aguilar stressed that in his heart and mind he doesn't see anything wrong with his relationship with a 16-year-old girl.
"Wala pong problema doon. Nagkataon lang na may batas tayo ay nag-imbento ng batas ay tao din, pero noong panahon na wala pa ang senador na yan at wala pa ang batas ay mas madali pa ang buhay noong araw."
"Masama po ba akong umibig ngayon ng totoo. Ngayon po nanininiwala ako na tama ang ginagawa ko, nagkataon lang na 16-year-old si Jovi yun lang ang pagkakaiba. Ang 16 po ngayon ay iba na ang takbo ng isip nila dahil sa teknolohiya," Aguilar said.