Tito Sotto: Pepsi Paloma scandal was a 'gimmick'
Senator Tito Sotto on Thursday denied any involvement regarding the alleged gang-rape and death of sexy actress Pepsi Paloma in the 1980s.
In DZMM's election special "Ikaw na ba? Ang senador para sa pamilyang Pilipino," anchor Alvin Elchico asked Sotto about his purported involvement in the Pepsi Paloma case.
Paloma's alleged gang-rape made headlines in 1982. She sought the services of lawyer Rene Cayetano against three high-profile suspects -- Joey de Leon, Vic Sotto, and Richie D'Horsey.
She accused the trio of drugging and raping her.
Tito Sotto's purported involvement came in when he allegedly coerced Pepsi Paloma into signing an affidavit of desistance and dropping the rape complaint against the three.
According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Joey De Leon, Vic Sotto and Richie D’Horsie issued a public apology to Pepsi Paloma which was published in the People’s Journal on October 13, 1982: "We hope that you will not allow the error we have committed against you to stand as a stumbling block to that future which we all look forward to. We therefore ask you to find it in your heart to pardon us for the wrong which we have done against you.
Sotto denied any involvement in the issue.
"Una, 1988 po ako naging vice mayor ng Quezon City. Matagal na hong wala 'yung kwentong 'yun," Sotto explained. "1982 ho yung kwentong iyun eh. So, wala ho akong pakialam sa isyung iyan nung araw."
"Para ho sa kaalaman ng lahat... gimik ho ni Rey dela Cruz (Paloma's manager) 'yun. Hindi ho totoo 'yun. Pinagtangkaan nilang magkaso kasi tinira sila ng libel nina Vic (Sotto) at Joey (De Leon). Idinemanda sila ng libel kaya pinagtangkaan nilang balikan ng kaso," Sotto said.
"Hindi po totoo 'yun, wala pong katotohanan," he added.
Sotto also said that he had no hand in Paloma's death. Three years after the alleged gang rape incident, she was found lifeless inside her apartment in an apparent suicide.
The senator blamed blamed the sexy actress' death on alleged drug use. "Wala ho, droga ho 'yun!"