|Senator Chiz Escudero and actress Heart Evangelista.|
The move of the Ongpaucos came after Escudero's statement in February that he intends to marry Evangelista in 5 years.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News' Mario Dumaual, Cecile expressed "concern about the future of our daughter."
"She has not thought about this sufficiently or properly. We think she should think about this for a longer period of time. Nag-aalala lang kami sa anak namin (we are just worried for our child)," she said.
Cecile went on to enumerate their reasons for opposing their daughter's relationship with the lawmaker.
Among them is the prospect that Evangelista and Escudero may not be able to marry as Catholics.
Referring to the annulment of Escudero's marriage with his former wife Christine Flores last year, Cecile said: "He was married with two children and he got an annulment in court, but not in the Catholic church. That means he can only marry our daughter outside the Catholic church."
"Our family, including Heart is Catholic, so we do not wish for Heart not to marry in the Catholic church," she said.
Cecile also cited the age difference between her 28-year-old daughter and the 42-year-old Escudero, and Evangelista's supposed lack of prepareness for a domestic life.
"Natatakot lang kami para kay Heart, dahil para sa amin hindi pa siya handa maging isang asawa ng isang politician na napakatanda sa kanya nang 16 years (we're concerned about Heart, she's not yet ready to be married to a politician who's 16 years her senior)," she said.
"Parati naman naming sinusuportahan si Heart. Hindi naman sanay si Heart sa gawaing bahay, o pagpapatakbo ng bahay, kasi masyado namin na-baby 'yan, overprotected, na-sheltered masyado (we have always supported Heart. She's not accustomed to domestic shores. We treated her as a baby, been over-protective of her and sheltered her)," she said.
The third reason for their objection, Cecile said, is Escudero's alleged "fondness" for alcohol. Recalling their first meeting with the senator, both Ongpaucos said they felt disrespected by Escudero, whom Rey referred to as "lasinggero" (drunkard).
"Sa aming experience kay Mr. Escudero," Cecile said, "parang nakikita namin na mahilig siyang uminom. Noong unang pagkakataon na nagpakilala siya sa amin dahil hiniling niya kay Heart na ipakilala siya... dumating siya, nakainom. Amoy ng alak. nakasalampak doon sa sala namin, parang ganoon. Noong ikalawang beses na pumunta siya sa bahay namin, ganoon ulit, nakainom, nang-aalok pa ng bote ng alak."
"With our experience with Mr. Escudero, we see him as a drunkard. The first time he was introduced to us, he was drunk. Reeking with liquor, he just slumped on the sofa. The second time he went to our house, he's drunk again, even offering a bottle of wine."
Rey added, "Wala akong nakitang maganda eh. Puro arogante siya, bastos. Makakita ka namang pinakilala sa akin, nakahilata sa upuan, lasing. Una kaming nag-meet, 'yun na agad nakita ko sa kanya."
"There are no good things about him. He's arrogant, disrespectful. The first time we met, he just slumped on the sofa."
"Tuwing nakikita ko, naka-inom. Kawawa naman 'yung anak mo, hindi natin masabi, balang araw... siyempre concerned kami eh, natatakot kami para sa anak namin, baka may mangyari," he said.
"Every time I see him, he's drunk. We're concerned and afraid for our daughter. Something bad may happen to her."
Referring to their first meetings with Escudero, Cecile said her family feels that the lawmaker has never rendered them any form of respect.
"Feeling namin itong Mr. Escudero na 'to, never nagpakita ng respeto sa aming pamilya. Pupunta siya sa bahay namin, nakainom, nakaupo, nakasalampak sa upuan, nakabukaka roon."
"We have a feeling Mr. Escudero does not respect us. He goes to our house already drunk, and just slumped on the sofa, with open legs."
"Minsan lumabas anak ko kasama niya, nagkita sila nung isa naming kamag-anak, binati 'yung anak ko. Tapos itong si Mr. Escudero ni hindi man in-acknowledge, ni hindi man pinansin na may kamag-anak kami na dumating."
"There was a time a relative saw Heart and Chiz while on a date and greeted them. Mr. Escudero didn't even acknowledged our relative."
"Sa aming pamilya, ang tingin namin doon, ang aming pakiramdam doon, wala siyang respeto, 'di ba," Cecile said.
"In our family, we see it as disrespect."
The Ongpauco matriarch also recalled an incident when Escudero allegedly ignored her when she visited Evangelista's film set.
"Ito lang nakaraan, bumisita lang ako, sinorpresa ko ang anak ko sa isang location taping. Pag dating ko roon, pati 'yung direktor, lahat tumatayo, abalang-abala sila, pinapaupo ako lahat. Pero itong si Mr. Escudero nakasalampak lang doon ulit sa upuan.
"Just recently, I surprised my daughter by visiting her on a location taping. Everybody including the director stood up to greet me and gave me a seat. But this Mr. Escudero, he didn't do anything, and just remained sitting on his chair."
"Nakita na niya na binibigyan akong respeto, pero para bang... hindi ko maintindihan kung sinasadya, kung anuman 'yon. I felt humiliated, I felt embarrassed," she said.
"He saw the respect given to me by the staff, but him...I don't understand if he's deliberately doing it."
In detailing their fifth reason for disapproving of the relationship, Cecile cited "reliable sources" in saying that "Escudero has certain strange habits hidden from the public view."
"We are very concerned that this kind of news might be based on truth. Siyempre nag-aalala kami para sa aming anak (we're worried for our daughter)," she said.
For their sixth reason, both Rey and Cecile said that they hoped Escudero would have been more "traditional" in forming a relationship with their daughter.
"Mr. Escudero has never given us the courtesy of formally asking my daughter's hand, or even asking our permission to court her, so that he could tell us about himself about his family. This behavior is not accpetable in our Philippine culture," Cecile said.
Evangelista's mother said they believe "Mr. Escudero is manipulating our daughter against us. He is feeding her with arguments to use in order that she will become estranged, and now is almost hostile to us, her family."
Rey said they no longer had communication with their daughter since she allegedly moved out of her condominium unit in the same building as her parents.
"Hindi na ako nakakausap eh. Wala na eh. umalis na nga sa condo bigla eh. Sa amin, para ka naman sinampal noon eh, angt agal mong inano eh... biglang mawawala. Anong dahilan? Eh 'di may dahilan," he said.
"We don't talk anymore. She's gone, suddenly left her condo unit. For us, it's disrespect. We cared for her for a long time, and yet she's suddenly gone. What's the reason? There has got to be a reason."
Cecile added, "Alalang-alala na kami sa anak namin (we are really worried), and up to this time, Mr. Escudero has not even bothered and refuses to explain himself to us."
Evangelista's mom also pointed at Escudero for allegedly causing the rift among their family. She likewise appealed to senator to "cool off" with the actress to give her time to reconsider their relationship.
"Sinasabi ni Mr. Escudero na naiipit lang daw siya sa kalagitnaan nitong away-pamilya. Kasinungalingan ho iyon. Siya ang talagang puno't dulo, ang pinanggagalingan ng problema naming pamilya ngayon.
"Mr. Escudero keeps on saying, that he's just caught in the middle of a family rift. That's a lie. He's the very reason why our family's having problems."
"Umaapela ngayon kami kay Mr. Escudero, kung maaari lang naman, pabayaan niya nalang muna 'yung anak namin para medyo magpalamig nang kaunti, makapag-isip-isip," she said.
"We are appealing to Mr. Escudero. Let our daughter be, for everything to cool off, have some time to think."
In an interview with the newscast "24 Oras" aired on Tuesday, Escudero said he prefers to distance himself from the supposed tiff between Evangelista and her parents.
"Hindi ako showbiz. Hiwalay ang pulitika sa personal na buhay. Ayaw kong manghimasok sa hindi pagkakaunawaan sa pagitan ng anak at ng kanyang mga magulang," he said.
"I'm not a showbiz personality. Politics must not get involved with a private life. I don't want to meddle with a misunderstanding between a daughter and her parents."
Message for Heart, Chiz
Both Rey and Cecile maintained, however, that they "have no problems" with their daughter, and are merely calling on Esudero to leave their daughter and straighten out himself.
"Wala kaming problema kay Heart," Cecile said. "Ang problema namin itong si Mr. Escudero. Parang kakaiba siya, nakakatakot siya para sa isang magulang. Nakakatakot na tao."
"We have no problems with Heart. The problem is Mr. Escudero. He's different, we're afraid as parents. He's fearsome."
"Akala namin nung umpisa, 'Wow, mukhang matalino naman, magaling magsalita,' eh sa personal palang buhay... so as a parent, nakakatakot," she said.
"At first, we said, 'Wow, he looks smart, he speaks well, but in reality -- as a parent we're afraid."
Rey echoed Cecile's sentiments: "Ang masasabi ko, sana pag-isipan niya 'yung ginagawa niya. I-ayos niya naman. Hindi 'yung maganda siya sa publiko, pero ang katotohanan ibang tao siya."
"All I can say is I hope he thinks about it. He should make good. His public image is good, but in reality, he's a different man."
"Huwag naman ganoon. Kung marami siyang pamilyang ginaganoon, 'wag naman kami. Pati 'yung anak namin na-involve tuloy... Kaya it's about time na magsalita na ako. Ayoko ng mga ganito eh, kaya lang kailangan malaman nila kung ano siya," he said.
"If he does this to other families, he should not do this to us. He has involved our daughter. We don't want this (press conference), but people must know."
Stressing that they merely want the best for their daughter, Rey said they are not meddling with her relationship. He said they only hope that she think things through regarding her supposed plans to settle down with the senator.
Asked for his message to Evangelista, Rey said, "Ang masasabi ko sa anak ko, Heart, sana makapag-isip-isip ka rin. Unahin mo muna ang magulang mo bago ibang tao. Pag-isipan mo 'yan. Darating ang araw, baka ibalik sayo 'yang, magka-anak ka, 'yung anak mo bastusin ka rin. Hindi maganda 'yan."
"Heart, I hope you can think about this. Prioritize us over anybody. There will come a time you'll have your own children, and you don't want your children to disrespect you. It's not good."
"At sana mag-isip ka rin na huwag naman kaagad 'yan, kung anuman ang naiisip mo, nabibigla ka. It takes time. Bigyan mo ng time ang sarili, bigyan mo ng panahon. May career ka pang dapat tapusin. Huwag kang pabigla-bigla, mag-isip ka muna... Hindi kami nakiki-alam sa'yo, concerned lang kami sa'yo," he said.
"I hope you also think about whatever it is you're planning, you may be rushing too much. Give time to think. You have a career. Think about it. We're not meddling with your life, we're just concerned."
Evangelista, meanwhile, on Monday took to micro-blogging site Twitter to openly express her love for Esudero. She has also appealed to her parents to let her be with the senator, saying she has found happiness.
“It happened to me a long time with Jericho and at that time, I was very young kaya nagparaya ako and I thought it would make my parents happy. I understand that you know, they want the best for me and they are very protective,” she said in an interview with "24 Oras" aired Tuesday.
“Nahihiya lang ako of course kay Chiz and sa family niya kasi wala naman silang ipinakitang masama sa akin. Napakabait nila tapos nagkaroon pa ng mga kasinungalingan, ng mga paninira,” Evangelista said.
"I'm embarassed for Chiz and his family, they treated me good. They were very good to me, then comes all these lies."
“Nahanap ko na ‘yung taong para sa akin, huwag na nila ilayo ang taong mahal ko. Masaya na ako and everybody deserves to be happy,” she said.
"I have found the right man, please don't take that man away from me. I'm happy and everybody deserves to be happy."
During the press conference on Tuesday, the Ongpaucos also emphasized that their going public with their tiff with Escudero has anything to with politics.
Escudero is seeking re-election in the May polls.