Singer-actress Sharon Cuneta asserted she knew how to separate politics from her personal relationships while she endorsed her older brother’s mayoral bid in Pasay city.
Cuneta said in a post on Instagram that it was late actor Fernando Poe, Jr. who taught her this “precious lesson” when he ran for president in 2004.
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When my late best friend, FPJ, ran for President years ago, my husband Kiko was working for the Administration/PGMA. I was pregnant with Miel and in a way I was thankful that no one could expect me to go around campaigning for anyone. On election day, with his loyal right hand Susan Tagle beside him in his car, I was able to talk to him on the phone. I thank God that he was wise and generous and kind enough to tell me this, which shall forever be etched in my heart: “Klatput (our nickname for each other), you worry about yourself and your baby-do not worry about me. Remember Klatput – THIS IS JUST POLITICS. AND WHEN ALL THIS IS OVER, WE WILL STILL BE FRIENDS. I LOVE YOU. SEE YOU SOON.” A few weeks later, he left me, us. But that shall always remain a precious lesson from one of the best human beings and greatest men I have ever known. That is why I know how to separate politics from personal relationships. No one is perfect. Opinions may differ between friends, family. But we are all individuals with freedom of will and must respect one another. Thank you to you all who understand how very hard it is for someone like me to have to (ALWAYS, IT SEEMS. I DON’T KNOW WHY.) be in the middle of disagreeing factions and groups involving people close to me one way or another. I am sorry. There simply are things beyond my control. All I ask is that you good people of Pasay give my brother chance and vote for him. Thank you so much. God bless you.
Her husband, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan was part of the administration of then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the action star’s opponent for the national elections that year.
Still pregnant with their youngest daughter, Miel Pangilinan, Cuneta narrated that she was beside Poe’s loyal right hand Susan Tagle when she talked to the celebrated actor on the phone. It happened on the day of elections, May 10, 2004.
“I thank God that he was wise and generous and kind enough to tell me this, which shall forever be etched in my heart,” Cuneta started. She then repeats what Poe told her:
“‘Klatput (our nickname for each other), you worry about yourself and your baby. Do not worry about me. Remember Klatput, this is just politics. And when all this is over, we will still be friends. I love you. See you soon,” Cuneta added.
The megastar then went on to promote Cesar “Chet” Cuneta’s candidacy to the Pasay city mayor post.
“All I ask is that you good people of Pasay give my brother chance and vote for him. Thank you so much. God bless you,” Cuneta said.
Chet will be running under the Nationalist People’s Coalition.
He’ll be facing Representative Emi Calixto-Rubiano of Pasay, whose brother Antonino Calixto currently holds the seat. The Calixtos are members of the opposing Liberal Party.
Before their leadership, the Cunetas’ father, late Pablo Cuneta, had been the mayor of Pasay city for four decades.
Conflict of interest
Cuneta had been vocal on her support to Chet on social media since she announced his political plans last July.
During the filing of the certificate of candidacy last October, the TV personality expressed her delight when President Rodrigo Duterte endorsed Chet.
“Siya rin po ang nagudyok sa kapatid kong tumakbo nung umpisa palang dahil ayaw na po nya ang nakararating sa kanyang korupsyon sa Pasay! Thank you Mr. President!” she said that time.
She also shared photos of her and Chet with presidential daughter Sara Duterte on November 10.
Cuneta had since earned the ire of those critical of the Duterte family.
One of these is Facebook user Ivy Lisa F. Mendoza who pointed out that the mayor of Davao city also got Rubiano’s back. The image she shared juxtaposed Cuneta’s photo against that of Rubiano’s.
The photo of the congresswoman can be seen on her Facebook page.
GOOD NEWS FOR SHARON: Sara Duterte endorses her brother Chet Cuneta for Pasay City mayor.BAD NEWS FOR SHARON: Sara…
On November 23, Cuneta re-posted another photo of Chet with Duterte. This time, Duterte was raising Chet’s left hand as gesture of support inside Malacañang.
It soon gathered criticisms in the comments section. She responded to some of them to defend herself and her brother.
The photo had since been deleted on her Instagram account, but the original post is still up.
Pangilinan, LP president and a critic of Duterte’s administration, wished well to Chet back when he was considered to run under the ruling PDP-Laban party.
Duterte called him the “dumbest” lawyer last November 11 for having authored the Juvenile Justice Law. The president sought to amend it and lower the age of criminal liability from the current 15 years old.
Some Filipinos denounced her perceived “silence” on it.