MANILA — Music veteran Sharon Cuneta on Sunday addressed the claim of President Rodrigo Duterte, whom she endearingly calls “Tatay,” that she and her husband, Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, are on the verge of separation.
The President brought up the supposed marital spat in his speech during the Bonifacio Day rites over the weekend, as he criticized the opposition senator initially in light of the law he authored, which raised the minimum age of criminal liability to 15.
The rant then turned personal, as the President alleged Cuneta no longer wants to live under the same roof as Pangilinan.
“Pinapaalis na nga ng asawa niya sa bahay niya, ayaw kay wala ibang matirahan. Totoo. Tanungin mo. At kung sabihin mo nagsisinungaling ako, I will resign. Ang sinasabi ko, totoo ‘yan,” he said.
A day later on Instagram, Cuneta shared a screenshot of a headline from CNN Philippines about the President’s statement about her marriage.
In its caption, she wrote: “I just spent the whole day with Kiko, Miel, Miguel, ZsaZsa and Conrad in our farm, so this piece of news sent by Kakie kinda shocked me!”
Kakie, Miel, and Miguel are Cuneta and Pangilinan’s children. Cuneta’s music contemporary Zsa Zsa Padilla and the latter’s partner, Conrad Onglao, are known close friends of the Pangilinan family.
“I dunno if it’s true that the President, my ‘Tatay,’ really said this, and I haven’t been able to see or speak to him since before my brother’s campaign for Mayor! So I don’t know where this is coming from, honestly,” Cuneta said.
Cuneta’s brother, Chet, was part of the administration slate Hugpong Pagbabago when he ran for Pasay City mayor in the 2019 elections. He was unable to clinch the post.
Cuneta continued: “If my husband and I separate, you’ll hear it from me! I don’t think anyone expects an announcement of this sort from the President of their country! Tatay likes to joke sometimes, as you all know, because Kiko’s in the Opposition. He has joked a few times against Kiko and about me in the past!
“Please rest assured that all is fine with my family. My stress comes from other people and things, but right now my family and marriage have never been happier! God bless you all! Love you guys.”
Cuneta’s response came hours after her eldest daughter with Pangilinan, Kakie (more known to the public as Frankie), addressed President Duterte’s allegations in a series of tweets.
“Hala buti pa siya alam,” she said, quoting the headline from CNN Philippines. “Like, imagine being more concerned with ‘ruining’ a perfectly happy family instead of being a good leader.”
Frankie, who is based in New York, USA, for her studies, went on to share screenshots of her messages with Miel, her sister, about starting a “revolution.”
She was pertaining to the President saying he would resign if he is proven wrong about his claim that Cuneta and Pangilinan are separating.
Frankie asked Miel to send photos of their parents together, taken on the same day, to contradict President Duterte’s claim. She then shared those snaps on Twitter, showing Cuneta and Pangilinan all smiles.
Joking she had helped secure the President’s resignation with those proof, Frankie said, “If you come for my family, I’ll come for you.”