Helen Gamboa speaks on son's death, Sotto's speech

Posted at 08/17/2012 2:02 AM | Updated as of 08/18/2012 12:42 AM

MANILA, Philippines -- Veteran actress Helen Gamboa said she became emotional as she watched her husband hold back tears while recalling the death of their first child in a televised speech last Monday.

Helen Gamboa. File photo

"Napaiyak ako kasi hindi naman namin pinaglalandakan 'yung isang istorya na 'yun na parte ng buhay namin, na namatayan kami ng anak," Gamboa told ABS-CBN News on Thursday.

In his “turno on en contra” speech against the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill before the Senate, Gamboa's husband, Senator Vicente "Tito" Sotto III, said it is his personal mission to block the passage of the bill because his son died allegedly due to the side effects of contraceptives.

The senator became emotional as he blamed contraceptives for the medical condition of his son, Vincent Paul, who died 5 months after he was born in 1975.

"Hindi naman namin pinagsasabi," Gamboa said of the mention of their son in Sotto's speech. "Ngayon lang na nagkataon na nung binasa niya 'yung speech niya, it so happened na timing sa araw ng kamatayan ng anak namin, our first son, kaya emosyonal talaga."

No crocodile tears

The veteran actress also defended her husband against critics accusing Sotto of putting up an act as he delivered his speech. According to Gamboa, her husband was merely moved to tears due to the personal nature of his anecdote.

"Paano siya mababahiran [ng showbiz] kung as a father na-move siya, naging emosyonal siya? Hindi mo pwede 'yun haluan ng showbiz, kasi totoong nangyari 'yun sa buhay namin. He just cited it as an example," she said.

Only moments after Sotto delivered his controversial speech, his daughter with Gamboa, Ciara, also took to micro-blogging site Twitter to defend her father.

“My parents experienced losing a child. Bashers/haters can't change that fact. Sana it won't happen to any of you,” Ciara said.

However, response to the senator's speech have not all been unfarovable, Gamboa said.

"'Yung kanyang speech, we really received a lot of positive reviews and comments, so siguro 'yung iba, parang [may] na-realize sila," she said.

Although her husband remains a staunch critic of the RH Bill, Gamboa said she and her family do not intend on "forcing" their stand on others when it comes to the divisive issue.

"[Hindi namin] pinipilit na kailangan ganito, no. Each one of us is entitled to his own opinion. Hindi pwede pilitin. We don't force it on anybody. Ine-express niya lang ang kanyang point," she said.