Heart stands by Chiz: 'Mahal ko siya'

Posted at 03/20/2013 6:59 PM | Updated as of 03/20/2013 7:31 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- Heart Evangelista said she is saddened by the turn of events involving her parents and her current boyfriend, Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero.

Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero and Heart Evangelista. Photo
courtesy of the actress' Twitter page

The 28-year-old actress went on record Wednesday to deny her parents' allegations against the lawmaker, who they had accused of being "arrogant," "disrespectul" and "alcoholic."

"Nakalulungkot ang mga nangyayari," the former teen star said in a statement.

"Pero gusto ko lang liwanagin ang ilang bagay: Hindi si Chiz ang dahilan ng alitan ng pamilya namin kundi ang kagustuhan ng mga magulang ko na maghiwalay kami," she said.

Evangelista's parents, Cecile and Rey Ongpauco, held a press conference on Tuesday to formally appeal to both their daughter and Escudero to reconsider their relationship.

The Ongpauco couple cited several reasons for their objection to the relationship, including Escudero's alleged "fondness" for alcohol, his being 16 years older than Evangelista, and the possibility that the senator and their youngest daughter may not marry as Catholics.

Both Rey and Cecile Ongpauco emphasized their disdain for Escudero's being an alleged "alcoholic," saying it is among the reasons behind the growing tension within their family.

Responding to her parents' allegations, Evangelista said, "Hindi totoo ang lahat ng sinasabi nilang paninira kay Chiz. Wala siya ginawa o pinakitang masama sa akin o sa kanila."

Only a day after openly expressing her love for Escudero on micro-blogging site Twitter, the actress reiterated her feelings for the lawmaker. She also apologized to her boyfriend and to members of his family who may have been affected by the Ongpauco couple's allegations.

"Mahal ko si Chiz. Humihingi po ako ng paumanhin sa kanya at sa pamilya niya dahil nadadamay sila dito," she said.

Evangelista also said she hopes that her parents will respect her decision to be in a relationship with Escudero, who has expressed confidence that he and the actress will overcome the controversy.

"Mahal ko ang mga magulang ko pero nasa tamang edad na ako at sana pagkatiwalaan at galangin nila ang mga desisyon ko," Evangelista said.