MANILA, Philippines ? Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Senator Manny Villar lashed back at critics for allegedly distorting facts surrounding the death of his younger brother, Danny, to taint his reputation and discredit his campaign.
Villar was particularly peeved by what he described as ?lies? that they were able to afford hospitalization for his cancer-stricken brother.
While acknowledging that his brother was rushed to the FEU Hospital, Villar said Danny was admitted as charity patient.
?During an emergency case, you go to the nearest hospital and bother later where to get the money to pay the bill,? he said in an interview in Naga City Sunday night.
Villar said his brother died because his family could not afford the cost of his treatment.
He scored at critics for insinuating that they had money when his family hired the services of Funeraria Paz for the burial of his brother.
The senator also decried insinuations that they were from the middle class and not from the lower class.
?Some groups have the gall of spinning tales that I did not come from the poor. I?ll never get tired of saying we were once squatters. My siblings and I were born in Sta. Maria Street in Tondo. The nine of us slept together on a single mat and mosquito net,? he pointed out.
The senator lamented that even the family?s property in San Rafael Village, Navotas was not spared from his detractors? nitpicking.
?Sa sobrang sikip namin, nangutang ang tatay ko, nagpatayo ng bahay. Pinapalabas ngayon na kami?y hindi mahirap. Hindi naman tama yon (Because we were too cramped, my father was forced to borrow money and build our own home. Now they?re saying we are not poor, that?s not right),? he said.
Villar said his father obtained a loan from the Government Service Insurance System to buy the house that was to be paid in 20 to 25 years.
He also denied claims that his mother was a fish dealer and not a mere vendor.
?We?re not in wholesaling. We were ordinary vendors selling shrimps in public markets, which I?ve been saying for so many times,? he said.
Villar noted that the heightened attacks against him were made after he gained support from a number of local politicians.
This clearly showed, he said that his foes were panicking and would do whatever it takes to undermine his presidential bid.