Helen Gamboa blasted niece Sharon Cuneta during an interview on Ricky Lo’s column in the Philippine Star published on March 14, 2012. Sharon Cuneta rekindled the family feud when her interview was published March 11, 2012 by Wilson Lee Flores in his column also in the Philippine Star. Sharon was asked, “When you say politics divides people, were you referring also to your uncle Senator Tito Sotto’s past rift with your husband Kiko?” Sharon’s answer: “Yes, politics does divide families, like when my uncle says something bad about Kiko, you don’t understand why…” Sen. Kiko Pangilinan wanted to be Senate President but Sharon blames Sen. Tito Sotto for his unsuccessful bid to be Senate President in 2010.
For her part, Sharon’s aunt, and Sen. Sotto’s wife, veteran actress Helen Gamboa speaking to Ricky Lo, aired her side of the story. Helen Gamboa said she was surprised why Sharon said that. Helen said Sen. Sotto was also able to read the column and he denied saying anything bad or against Kiko.
Helen Gamboa then narrated how the family rift started way back in 2004 when Tito Sotto was campaign manager for FPJ. At the official canvassing of votes, Kiko blocked the opening of disputed ballot boxes and Tito Sotto was pleading for even just one to be opened to prove cheating, Helen said Kiko never allowed it and just said noted, and Helen said everyone knows that fact about Kiko.
Then in 2007, Tito Sotto run for a Senate seat, and when he lost, Helen said, no one came to condole with them except Sen. Tessie Aquino-Oreta, Sen. Gringo Honasan, and some of their closest friends. She reiterated that those were the only people who stood by them at that time. Which means Sharon and Kiko were not one of them.
Then in 2010, Tito Sotto run for the Senate and this time he won. Helen Gamboa recalled that several friends helped them and for which they are grateful. Sharon and Kiko were not one of those who helped them.
Helen Gamboa said when they were electing the Senate President, Sharon and Kiko requested Tito to vote for Kiko as Senate President. Helen said Tito could not do so as requested because of his commitment to those who helped him during the 2010 campaign. Helen said Tito explained that to Sharon and she thought that Sharon understood the whole thing and she thought that there was a closure already to that issue.
And so Helen Gamboa said she was surprised when she saw Sharon on 24 Oras saying that she is hurt that her Uncle Tito did not support Kiko’s bid for Senate President. Helen Gamboa then explained Tito was only one vote and Tito’s vote was not the decisive factor for Kiko to be elected as Senate President. She said the way she understood it, what was important was Kiko’s Liberal Party mate’s vote.
Helen Gamboa then dropped a bombshell by saying that Sharon Cuneta should never meddle in the political career of her husband as she never meddles in her husband’s political career. Sharon and Helen have not spoken to each other since then, although Helen visits from time to time her sickly sister and Sharon’s mom, Elaine Cuneta.
Helen with tears falling then said: “Masakit sa akin kasi ako tiya n’ya, nakakatanda ako di hamak. I took care of her, ako halos nagpalaki sa kanya, I treated her like my own daughter, like my eldest child. The Lord knows how much I love her, ang naiisip ko, siguro pag masyadong yumayaman ang isang tao, nag-iiba, nakakalimutan ang kanyang roots.”
“Not because I’m saying this doesn’t mean I don’t love her anymore. Hanggang mamatay ako, hindi magbabago ang pagtingin ko sa kanya. Kaya lang siempre, sumasama ang loob ko. I feel that it is not right na ang pamangkin ko ay masyadong matayog. I could feel that she’s so unreachable. Hindi ko na siya maabot.”
For her part, Sharon Cuneta tweeted: “My prayer is, since nailabas ko na rin ang niloloob ko, sana di na magtagal ang hidwaang pamilya. Sana malagpasan namin ang pagsubok na ito na nakakahiya.”
Helen Gamboa is still active with showbiz, she is one of the cast of the top-rating ABS-CBN primetime soap, Walang Hanggan while Sharon Cuneta transferred late last year to TV5 from ABS-CBN.