Humingi ng paumanhin si former Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri sa ex-beauty queen na si Jewel May Lobaton dahil sa mga nasabi niya sa senatorial debate nila ni Senator Koko Pimentel sa Mano-Mano, ang programa ni Anthony Taberna sa Studio 23.
Si Jewel ang estranged wife ni Senator Koko.
Sa senatorial debate taping noong nakaraang Lunes, March 11, nabanggit ni Zubiri na "battered wife" ang former beauty queen.
Ngunit mahigpit na pinabulaanan ito ni Jewel sa pamamagitan ng isang statement na ipinadala sa PEP noong Biyernes, March 16.
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Nag-apologize si Zubiri kay Jewel sa pamamagitan din ng statement.
Ngunit nilinaw ng senatorial candidate na wala siyang sinabi na physically-abused wife ang asawa ni Senator Pimentel.
Ikinuwento rin niya ang mga kaganapan nang magharap sila ni Jewel noong July 2012.
Narito ang kabuuang statement ni Zubiri:
SORRY. “I wish to humbly apologize to Jewel for the pain that I have caused for bringing this issue out in the public during a heated exchange on a televised senatorial debate last week.
“It was not my intention to hurt her feelings and that of her children, but was merely echoing the sentiments that she shared to us the night we met.
“Let me assure the family that I did not say that she was physically abused by her husband. I merely quoted her statement that she was a battered wife.
“Being a battered wife does not only mean being subjected to physical abuse but psychological, mental, and verbal abuse as well. These are clearly defined in section 3 of R.A 9262 or the anti-violence of women and children act.
THE MEETING. “Last July 12, 2012 I received a call from a mutual friend who requested that I meet up with Jewel to discuss some pressing concerns.
"Initially I hesitated due to the fact that I was trying my best to reach out to Senator Pimentel and to make amends.
“Our mutual friend insisted that I hear what Jewel had to say that night. So I brought my wife Audrey along so that it would not look political but more of a social meeting.
“That night we listened to her describe her relationship with Koko and her revelations convinced us that she deserved to be assisted in getting custody of her children.
“Being a relative, we also sought the counsel of our other relatives on how to best proceed. Several suggestions where discussed, including making the reasons behind the separation public, but such an option was discouraged. The family decided that we will help Jewel quietly.
REGRETFUL. “That is why it is regretful for the other party to say that we are using this for political means because we have kept this issue a secret even between our friends and family all this time.
“I even told Jewel that it may be a bad idea to involve me because it would politicize the custody of her children, and will anger Senator Koko even more.
“So my wife and I decided to quietly disengage from those meetings to allow Jewel and her legal team to work for the children’s custody.
“It is also regrettable that I am being painted a liar for making up a story for political propaganda.
“Jewel’s concerns at that time were valid and we sincerely felt her love and devotion to her children. And that’s why I would never make up these issues for I too am devoted to my family.
THANKFUL TO ERAP. “I thank President [Erap] Estrada for helping me clear my name by releasing a statement that he too was approached by Jewel in his home, and at the home of Toby Tiangco together with former Reps. Ompong Plaza and JV Bautista and Lenny de Jesus with regards to the same serious issues and complaints of Jewel told me at that time.
“Again I regret having brought out this issue in public.
PUSHED TO THE WALL. “But I have been pushed to the wall so many times by Senator Pimentel and sometimes enough is enough.
“I uttered those words at the heat of that moment and even before the campaign started, Senator Pimentel has been besmirching my reputation and making wild accusations without even offering a single shred of evidence.
“I have held my peace and respect for him for so long, but for him to repeat those lies in the presence of my wife is something I will not let pass.
“If the good Senator is worried about what his children see or hear from the public then I want him to know that I too have children who also hear and see all the lies that he has been throwing against me.
“There’s a saying in Tagalog, ‘Yung aso na mabait pag sinipa-sipa mo ay kakagat din.’
“Having said that, those of us who are offering ourselves to the people must prove that we do not have skeletons in our closets no matter how personal it maybe. We should not lead double lives.
“Our public and private conduct should be beyond reproach and should be open to scrutiny, especially by the people. And we should be willing to answer difficult questions truthfully.
“To end let me say I shall respect the request of Jewel to keep this private. And this statement shall be the last I will say about this issue.”