MANILA, Philippines – The mother of Valenzuela City councilor Shalani Soledad on Sunday spoke out for the first time to defend her daughter from her critics.
An emotional Evelyn Soledad sat down with “Paparazzi” host Cristy Fermin to address all issues concerning her 30-year-old daughter, who was thrust into the limelight after her much talked about relationship with President Benigno Aquino III.
Shalani and Aquino have reportedly split up although both parties remained tightlipped on the issue. Aquino is said to be dating other women now, including his stylist, fashion magazine editor Liz Uy.
Of late, the pretty and shy councilor, who continues to evade all intrigues thrown at her, has become the subject of many rumors since her reported split with Aquino, prompting Evelyn to come into her defense.
For one, Evelyn denied that Shalani dated Valenzuela Mayor Sherwin Gatchalian.
She maintained: “Even before and pagkatapos, there is no relation between Mayor Sherwin Gatchalian [and Shalani]. May I say this, kung maririnig mo ako mayor, maraming salamat sa pagtingin mo na maganda sa anak ko. You’re a decent guy and we have respected you so much.”
The mother also disputed talk that her daughter and her first boyfriend have a love child. “No, wala pong anak ang Shalani ko.”
When asked about Aquino, Evelyn has only good words for the 50-year-old President.
She said she believes that the 2 loved and respected each other.
“Ang pinakita naman niya sa amin taong tao. We welcome him and I feel naman na mahal niya si Shalani that’s why minahal namin siya… [Pero] it's not meant to be,” she said.
She said Shalani is “a very simple woman,” and although they do not belong to an elite family, theirs is a decent, happy and simple one.
She said whenever her daughter is being criticized, she, too, got hurt.
“Napakahirap palang marinig sa iyong anak, ‘Mama, hindi ko alam kung sino ang kaaway ko. Mama hindi ko alam kung ano ang nagawa ko sa kanila. Mama, I have done my best,’” she said.
She also apologized to her daughter for speaking on her behalf. “I’m sorry anak. Ako lang ang puwedeng magtanggol sa’yo. Wala ng iba.”
“I wish nasa mundo lang siya ng Valenzuela. I wish everything did not happen but it is God’s will,” she added.