Veteran folk singer Freddie Aguilar hogged the headlines recently not just for the recent lifetime achievement award he got but for his admission that he is ready to marry his current 16-year old girlfriend.
In an interview with ANC's Headstart, the 60 year-old Aguilar defended himself from criticisms, most of it online, from netizens and even those in the showbiz industry. He said he was not liable to anyone and other people's opinions do not matter.
“Kung wala kayong kasalanan, batuhin niyo ako. Masaya na kayo?” he asked. “I tell the truth, hindi ko iniisip na maggegenerate ng ganitong attensyon. Maglilimang-buwan na kami eh. We’ve been together in some of my shows. Wala namang nagsusulat about dun until nasabi ko na 16 siya.”
Aguilar, who shot to international fame in the 70s for his hit song "Anak," also said he and his young girlfriend are very much in love.
“The last time I looked at the dictionary it doesn’t say there that you must be the same age, you must be the same status, you must be the same intellect, or whatever. Wala naman boundary ang pag-ibig," he said. “Ang pag-ibig ay kino-conquer ng lahat, at kasama ako sa na-conquer non.”
He also said he got permission from the girl's parents to get married.
On whether he might be breaking any law by having a relationship with and wanting to marry a minor, Aguilar said he was willing to face the consequences.
“I fall in love. May kasabihan tayo na may batas ng tao, may batas ng puso, may batas ng Diyos. So kung sa batas ng tao nagkamali ako, then I will admit it. The different thing about this is that we are both in love. And when I found out the first thing I did was notify her parents because I know na hindi tama. But for me to back-out when we are already in love, then I think it is more damaging to her,” the music icon said.
He revealed that they had already started the relationship when he found out she was a minor. “I was thinking she was 20 or 21 the way she’s built. So she was already my girlfriend when I found out she was only 16.”
He noted they were going out for 5 months and it was smooth sailing until a reporter asked about her in an event. “May nagtanong, ‘Ka Freddie mukhang bata po ata ang girlfriend ninyo’. Sabi ko ‘sa totoo nga she’s only 16,'” he said.
Aguilar described his relationship as “love at first sight” when he spotted her at a campaign sortie in Mindoro. After several days of sending text messages, he asked her if she could be his girlfriend.
Talking about marriage, Aguilar said they are looking forward to getting married in the next couple of years. “We’re talking about two years from now. Kasi two years from now she will be 18, so I think may sarili na siyang decision. If God is willing it could be earlier.”
READ MORE: Can Freddie Aguilar be sued for seduction, child abuse?
More of Headstart, here.