Willieâs charity work not âpolitically motivatedâ
Willie Revillame with (clockwise, from center) daughters Marimonte Shanelle and Meryll, son Juan Emmanuelle/Juamee, grandson Elijah (Meryll’s son with ex-husband Bernard Palan-ca).
Photos from Meryll Soriano’s social-media accounts

Willie’s charity work not ‘politically motivated’

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - January 19, 2021 - 12:00am

Time and time again, especially as the election season approaches, rumors spread that Willie Revillame is being lured by different political parties to run in 2022, thanks to his various charity projects during calamities, continuing on his GMA show Tutok To Win (a spinoff of his bigger show Wowowin which is on hold due to the pandemic).

Five times a week, Willie gives away cash prizes to his followers from Aparri to Jolo. All they have to do is make tutok to (stay glued to) the show aired from Willie’s WilTower, wait for their submitted phone numbers to be dialed and, voila, instant winner! As we all know, Willie donated P500,000 to jobless jeepney drivers, another P500,000 to Marikina City which was badly hit by Typhoon Ulysses and undisclosed cash to this and that charity.

Is Willie doing it as investment in a political career?

Even if he continues to deny that his charity work is, uhm, to use an overused and over-abused term, “politically motivated,” many people still don’t believe it, and the rumor has started to sound like a broken vinyl record.

“Once and for all,” Willie texted Funfare in answer to a question, “I don’t have any political plans. I am not a politician. I have experienced how it is to be poor and now that I can afford it, gusto ko lang maging masaya ang mga mahihirap; I just want to make them happy.”

As a tradition on his birthday, instead of receiving, Willie is the one who will give away gifts next Wednesday, Jan. 27, when he turns 60.

“Every call I make is worth P60,000,” revealed Willie, so Tutok To Win viewers better stay close to their phones Monday thru Friday. “In the Pera o Kahon segment, at stake is P1M cash and house and lot. There will be more prizes.”

Willie Revillame with Meryll and her newborn child (by partner Joem Bascon).
Photos from Meryll Soriano’s social-media accounts

Does a million-peso celebrity who flies his own chopper, lazes around in his own yacht and shuttles between several houses (one in Ayala Heights, one in Tagaytay and one in Mindoro) still wish for something on his birthday?

“Nothing more,” said Willie. “I can only thank God for all the blessings. My only wish is for the pandemic to be over at bumalik na tayong lahat sa dating normal, bumalik ang kasayahan ng buong mundo, for our planet to be safe again. All of us have learned a lot of lessons during this pandemic. Let’s pray that we will all be safe and sound.”

Incidentally, although open about most everything in his life, Willie is mum about his love life. Survivor of two failed marriages (first to Princess Punzalan who is based in the US with her husband and to Liz Almoro who is now married to Victor Aliwalas; Princess has no child by Willie and Liz has one, Juan Emmanuelle/Juamee, now 12), Willie has three daughters by three different women, one of them Meryll Soriano (with Bec Bec Soriano, Maricel’s sister) who has given him two grandchildren, Elijah (now 10, by her ex-husband Bernard Palanca and a weeks-old baby by her partner Joem Bascon).

Sen. Manny Pacquiao

Will they or won’t they?

It’s sooner than we think. Sixteen more months and it’s May 2022, election time. Nine months from now, in October, those intending to run will be filing their certificates of candidacy.

Recent surveys have shown as “probables” the likes of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, Manila Mayor Isko “Yorme” Moreno, Sen. Bong Go and Sen. Manny Pacquiao.

Funfare did a mini-survey among showbiz politicians with two questions: Is it true that you plan to run for either president or vice president in 2022? If no, what if a party drafted you or there’s a clamor from the people?

Sen. Grace Poe

• Sen. Grace Poe: “No plans.”

Manila Mayor Isko ‘Yorme’ Moreno

• Manila Mayor Isko Moreno: “I want to concentrate on my work in Manila. I haven’t thought of the 2022 elections.”

Sen. Loren Legarda

• Former senator and now Antique Rep. Loren Legarda: “Galit ka ba sa akin?” (She joked, and added) “Naku, noooo!!!

Batangas Rep. Vilma Santos

• Batangas Rep. Vilma Santos: “No such plan. Saan nanggaling ‘yon? I repeat, no political plan as of this time. Promise!!! My priority, sana dumating na ang vaccine sa Pilipinas. I will support any legislative measure for the speedy procurement of reliable vaccines.”

Sen. Bong Revilla

• Sen. Bong Revilla (joking): “Huwag na. The last time I was rumored to be running, nakulong ako, hahaha!!!

Senate President Tito Sotto (seated) and Sen. Bong Go

• Senate President Tito Sotto: “I have no plans at the moment. I will weigh my options after I have steered the Senate past this pandemic and problems besetting our country. I’m a full-blooded NPC (Nationalist People’s Coalition) member, presently the chairman.”

(E-mail reactions at rickylophilstar@gmail.com.)

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