Is Erap behind Chiz-Ongpauco feud?

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 03 2013 12:06 PM | Updated as of Apr 04 2013 06:42 AM

MANILA – "In politics, all things are possible."

This is how re-electionist Sen. Francis Escudero answered questions on whether he believes the camp of former president Joseph Estrada is somehow behind the attacks against him by the parents of his girlfriend, actress Heart Evangelista.

Speaking to ANC’s Headstart, Escudero said that while he does not have evidence, he is no longer surprised that so many rumors are coming out about the feud.

“Wala akong ebidensya pero sa pulitika, lahat ng bagay posible. Sa tinagal-tagal ko sa pulitika, hindi na ako magugulat na kung ano-anong chismis na ang lumalabas kaliwa’t kanan. Kung totoo man o hindi wala naman na sigurong makakaalam o makaka-confirm nun. But from where I am coming from, hopefully we should be able to withstand any attacks. Hopefully, we should be able to still stand after any malicious attacks against us especially if it is not true,” he said.

Evangelista’s mother, Cecile Ongpauco, earlier called for a press conference and publicly urged Escudero to stay away from their daughter. She described the senator as a braggart and a drunk and said Evangelista was being manipulated by Escudero.

In the interview, Escudero refused to comment on rumors that Ongpauco and former president Estrada are close.

"Ayoko nang isipin yun. Mas gusto ko nang isipin for Heart's sake, sana maayos, magkasundo muli sila at sana hindi na madagdagan yung bangayan, yung ingay. Humingi na ako ng paumanhin minsan sa publiko na nadadamay sila sa isang personal na bagay na hindi naman namin ginusto at ayaw ko nang dagdagan pa yun, baka humaba pa yung kuwento," he said.

He said he would rather talk about the issues facing candidates in the coming elections.

In the interview, Escudero denied coming out against Estrada, saying only that he relayed information from local officials that the former president is campaigning against him. He said this is after the United Nationalist Alliance dropped him as a common candidate.

He also said it is unfair to ask if Evangelista would be good for his political career. He said his relationship with Evangelista had been the subject of intrigue that he was merely using the actress for publicity in his re-election bid.

“Hiniwalay ko ang pag-ibig at personal kong buhay sa trabaho ko. Hindi ko pinagsasama yun. From the start, I have stood by that. Marami nagsabi na ang relasyon na pinasukan ko kay Heart para sa eleksyon, para magamit, para sumikat, para dalhin sa kampanya. I have stood pat on that statement I made way before the election period started na hiwalay yun. May sarili siyang trabaho. Hindi ko isasama ang personal kong buhay sa pulitika. She has never and she will not accompany me in this campaign because she has work to do as well,” he said.

ANC HEADSTART, April 3, 2013