MANILA — Short of confirming she’s in a relationship anew, Kris Aquino happily shared with her followers that she is seeing someone “special,” who now turns out to be former Interior Secretary Mel Sarmiento.
While Aquino has made no direct mention of Sarmiento, here’s how the two put together the puzzles for hawk-eyed fans of the actress.
On Wednesday, Aquino greeted a mystery man, whom she considers “special,” on his birthday, instantly stirring speculation.
When a follower called Aquino “narcissistic” for making the greeting public, after once saying she wanted to keep her life private, Sarmiento came to her defense, through a comment made from Aquino’s account.
Sarmiento said Aquino makes him happy, and asked the follower for respect. He then identified himself with his full name, after explaining he borrowed Aquino’s phone to make the comment.
Somehow, Aquino managed to confirm she was indeed pertaining to Sarmiento as the “special” man, still without mentioning him directly.
Answering another follower who was amused with the guessing game in the comments, Aquino wrote, “No need to guess, scroll down, he borrowed my phone.”
With casual mentions of their shared history, Aquino hinted at how their apparent romance came to be.
“He really did come when my grief was unbearable; he continues to give me unselfish support & comfort; he’s been around for all my ups and downs, health woes, and tears,” Aquino said in her birthday greeting.
Aquino’s brother, former President Benigno Aquino III, passed away in June.
Sarmiento was the third and final DILG secretary under Aquino’s term, replacing Mar Roxas, who had tendered his resignation to focus on his presidential campaign. He was confirmed in September 2015, allowing him some nine months in office before the Duterte administration came in.
In her Thursday post thanking her “special” someone for a bouquet of flowers, Aquino recalled their casual introduction during her brother’s time as president.
“Thank you for wanting me to be happy, this time I feel even Noy in heaven will finally approve, siguro naman because we’d never have met had it not been for him,” she said.
She also asked her followers, in jest, not to quiz her close friends for details about her new romance.
Prior to his stint with the Aquino administration, Sarmiento was secretary general of the Liberal Party, the late president’s political party.
From 2010 to 2015, Sarmiento was congressman of Western Samar. Before joining the House of Representatives, he was the vice mayor and later mayor of Calbayog City, until he ran for a congressional seat.