Montano donates son's eyeballs to RP eye bank


Posted at Mar 26 2010 06:03 PM | Updated as of Mar 28 2010 05:14 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Multi-awarded actor-director Cesar Montano has donated his son's eyes to the Eye Bank Foundation of the Philippines after his son's suicide Friday morning.

"The Eye Bank Foundation of the Philippines gratefully acknowledges the donation by Mr. Cesar Montano of the eyeballs of his son Angelo to the eye bank. We are very grateful and touched by  this donation," said Dr. Minguita Padilla, president of the Eye Bank Foundation of the Philippines.

"We share in his family's pain, especially as Cesar has been a friend and supporter of the eye bank since 2005 when he generously participated in our major advocacy campaign, 'Tears of Hope, Tears of Health,' as a model and celebrity advocate," she added.

Padilla said the donation of the eyeballs means "that as many as 8 to 10 people may be helped through sight-restoring and sight-saving surgery."

The Eye Bank Foundation went to the Arlington Memorial in Quezon City Thursday afternoon to retrieve the eyeballs from Montano's 23-year-old son with his first wife, according to Marilyn Genares, donor development coordinator of Eye Bank Foundation of the Philippines.

Montano is also a committed eye donor.

Christian Angelo Manhilot, committed suicide in their home in Quezon City on Friday morning apparently due to a "love" problem.

He shot himself in the head with a .45 pistol inside their house along Yakal Street, Tivoli Royale subdivision in Barangay Batasan Hills, Quezon City at around 6 a.m..

In an earlier interview,  Superintendent Chris Mendoza, commander of the Batasan Police Station, said Manhilot was rushed to Malvar Hospital in Quezon City and was declared dead at 6:40 a.m.. The boy died of a single gunshot wound in the head.

Meantime, the cornea of the son of Toni Rose Gayda, who died after falling off his condominium balcony a week ago, will be transplanted to a patient, Genares said. (Read: Toni Rose Gayda's son dies after falling from condo) -- reports from Mario Dumaual and Alex Santos, ABS-CBN News