Nalzaro: ‘Amahan ko, nganong gibiyaan mo ako?’

·5 min read

ON THE cross Jesus Christ said; “My God, My God why have you forsaken me?” Jesus felt abandoned because He really was forsaken in fulfillment of the Scriptures. We usually hear these words during Holy Week as these were the first of the Seven Last Words uttered by Christ on the cross. “Amahan ko, nganong gibiyaan mo ako.”

To “forsake” another person is to leave them entirely, usually in a moment of need. Forsaking may mean simply giving something up, such as a way of life or a homeland, for something better or more appropriate. But it is often a mean word, suggesting leaving something or someone behind when they need you to stay.

But this piece is not a Biblical story. This is showbiz with a political undertone because the involved person is a showbiz personality and politician at the same time. This is a real-life drama.

“Father, why have you forsaken me?” Maybe these are the unspoken words Joshua Paolo Jensen wants to convey to his “father”—TV entertainer Richard Yap. But he can’t express it because the actor ignored and denied him of being his “son.” It’s very agonizing on the part of the 24-year-old Joshua to be ignored by the person whom he acknowledged as his own “father.” This agony prompted him to go to court seeking compulsory recognition of natural child or “acknowledgment of paternity and affiliation” by the famous TV personality.

Unfortunately, Yap, who is seeking a congressional seat in Cebu City’s north district in next year’s election, refused to acknowledge Josh as his son, claiming he does not know him and has not even met him in person. He said he has been in showbiz for 10 years already and it’s only now that Joshua has surfaced. Worse, Yap said Joshua’s action is politically motivated. He accused Joshua of collusion or being used by his (Yap’s) political rival ostensibly to destroy his political career.

Yap even refused to undergo a deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) test, a highly technical procedure, to determine the blood relations of two persons. The DNA paternity test is nearly 100 percent accurate at determining whether a man is a person’s biological father. Why do people need a DNA paternity test? For the following reasons:

1. Gain legal rights to child support, child custody, social security benefits and inheritance.

2. Identify link to genetic conditions that can affect your long term health.

I think that is the only intention of Joshua in coming out and filing the petition of compulsory recognition in court. He claimed that Yap is his biological father because that was what his mother told him. Mother knows best, so to speak. He even narrated in his petition how Yap and his mother, Cherrymay, who worked as public relations officer at Euphoria Disco at the Intercontinental Hotel in Makita City, met and had a romantic relationship in 1996. It’s the right of Joshua to know his real father. Even adopted children, once they know that they are adopted, will always exert an effort to look for their biological parents.

Cebu City Councilor Niña Mabatid, Yap’s political rival in the north congressional district seat, said Yap has been telling his close friends in the past about Joshua and acknowledged him as his son. But how come he is denying it now? Is Yap afraid that his wholesome image on TV and his political career might be affected as people might get discouraged and will no longer vote for him because he will be perceived as a “babaero” (womanizer)? Is he afraid of his legal wife, Melody and his legitimate children? Or maybe he doesn’t want that Josh will demand a share of his acquired properties as inheritance. Under our laws, an illegitimate child can have the right to inherit only if the father acknowledges or recognizes the child as his. And even if the illegitimate child is acknowledged by the father, he/she is entitled to inherit only 1/2 of the share of a legitimate child. This share can be further reduced, depending on the number of compulsory heirs.

As for his political career, Yap has nothing to worry about as far as this issue is concerned. Being a “babaero” and having an illegitimate child or children are no longer election issues. How many politicians have been perceived as such and yet were still elected into office? We elected former President Joseph Estrada and President Rodrigo Duterte who are in the same situation. And do you think other politicians are clean? If Yap will admit that Josh is his son, people will admire him more and support him for telling the truth. On the other hand, his wife and children will understand the situation, especially if Josh was a product when he was still single.

The advisers and handlers of Yap miscalculated their response. He should have said, “If proven that Josh is my son after a DNA test, then I will gladly welcome him to the family.” Or, if indeed Josh is his son, he should simply admit it. Richard will be bothered by his conscience forever if he will keep on denying it. There is a Tagalog term “lukso ng dugo” which means in English—”the strange yet tender feeling one experiences upon first meeting someone, often a stranger, that they are related by blood.”

*****

Talking of children, each Filipino, even those just born today, is already in debt by at least a whopping P120,000 as the national debt has reached P11.92 trillion as of end-September. This, according to Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson. This is compounded by the problems brought by the pandemic which has negatively affected the Filipinos’ health and the country’s economy.

Lacson said that while the debt stood at P5.9 trillion when the Duterte administration started in 2016, it is projected to swell to P13.42 trillion by June 30, 2022. This is only one of the problems facing the next leader. The other problems are peace and order, graft and corruption and the issue on the West Philippine Sea. Therefore, we should elect a leader who has the vision of solving the country’s ballooning debt.

Sus, ang mosunod nga henerasyon maoy magbaguod sa pagbayad aning atong utang.

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