Manila, Philippines — Filipino music legend Freddie Aguilar has gained supporters following a raging debate over his love affair with his 16-year-old girlfriend.
“It’s a consensual relationship between two people in love with a wide age gap,” said Congresswoman Luzviminda Ilagan of Gabriela, a sectoral party at the House of Representatives. “Her parents have already blessed the relationship,” Ilagan added.
“Freddie Aguilar can marry his girlfriend as long as he gets the consent of her parents,” Congressman Rodolfo Albano said.
“His other option is to wait for his girlfriend to reach legal age before marrying her,” said Congressman Lito Atienza, of Buhay, another sectoral party at the House of Representatives.
The girl said in a TVC interview that she loves the famous singer: “Even if I’m young, I am mature enough to know and discern if what I’m doing is right or wrong.” The girl’s name was not identified and her face not shown.
Aguilar’s daughter Maegan Aguilar also defended the music legend, saying “I love calling out morons or stupid [people who criticise my father].”
Aguilar had earlier said he did not know the girl’s age when he was first courting her, and when he found out, that he would wait for her to reach a legal age.
A social welfare department official in Manila said that social workers in Mindoro, southern Luzon will hold a meeting with the teenage girl’s parents, according to reports.
Social welfare official Dulfie Shalim said it is important to know if the parents have voluntarily approved of the relationship, adding that it is the mandate of her office to prevent minors from being abused or seduced.
Aguilar’s composition Anak (Child), recorded in 1978, sold six million copies, was translated into 26 languages, and became popular in Japan and Europe.
Following the assassination of Benigno Aquino in 1983, Aguilar’s rendition of Bayan Ko (My Country), a 1983 folk-protest song, became the anthem of protesters against former President Ferdinand Marcos, who was blamed for Aquino’s death.
The popularity of the song also fuelled the “People Power Movement” that overthrew Marcos in 1986. Image/thestar.com