Villar’s mom appeals for end to attacks
By Christina Mendez
The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines – Members of the Villar family led by its 86-year-old matriarch, Curita Bamba Villar, yesterday appealed to the political detractors of Nacionalista Party (NP) standard-bearer Sen. Manuel Villar Jr., to put an end to the series of attacks casting doubt on his humble beginnings.
An emotional Nanay Curing disputed claims by her son’s political opponents that he was not really poor.
She said she agreed to come out after learning from her other children how Villar was being wrongly portrayed by his detractors as not really coming from the poor.
This came after the Liberal Party (LP) released midway in the campaign a report stating that Manny’s younger brother died of cancer at a high-end Far Eastern University (FEU) Hospital and was later serviced by the Funeraria Paz in the 1960s.
Villar’s siblings, Lourdes and Vicky (both married to Divinagracia brothers), Gloria Benedicto, and Cecille Fetalino were in full force to support their mother at her Las Piñas residence.
Senator Villar and his brother Virgilio (Jojo) were not present during the press conference and were reportedly at a meeting to plan strategy in the homestretch of the campaign.
Lourdes challenged her brother’s detractors to limit the debates to platform and put a stop to political mudslinging.
“We are simple people who live simple lives. My brother is very cool, he is super kind, that is why it is not in his person to counter all these allegations,” she said.
Gloria suddenly lost her cool when a reporter asked her sister how they will parry potential criticisms that they are using their mother in their campaign offensive.
She decried what she described as “below the belt” attacks by their brother’s political opponents, adding that their mother merely wanted to defend her son, and that they were not using her (Nanay Curing) in the campaign.
Gloria emphasized that it was the others (apparently referring to the camp of LP standard-bearer Noynoy Aquino) who have been banking on the names of their parents to win the elections.
Gloria said the family has been hurting but tried to remain quiet until the attacks became personal.
She decried the apparent biases by ABS-CBN and GMA 7 in their election coverage, where attacks against their brother made the headlines and the opponent is being pictured as “holier than thou.”
Nanay Curing echoed what her son has been reiterating in his campaign, that he is running for the presidency because he wanted to help the poor and steer the country out of poverty.
She told her son, beset by personal attacks from his opponents, to stay strong amid the new challenges that come his way. She said God blesses those who have experienced hardships in life and those who think only of good for his fellowmen.
No stopping Enrile
Villar’s mother and his siblings took the offensive almost the same time that former President Joseph Estrada and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile accused Villar of not disclosing his alleged moves to pressure officials of the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) in 2007 over the release of shares of stocks of the Vistaland Life & Landscapes from the six-month lockup period.
Enrile vowed yesterday to file a complaint before the Senate Ethics committee against Villar once Congress opens in July. – Jose Rodel Clapano