Senatorial aspirant Salvador Panelo defended his move to sing Sharon Cuneta's hit song while he was campaigning, saying he doesn't understand "what’s so offensive about that."
Cuneta on March 10 took Panelo to task on Twitter after a video showed him singing Sana'y Wala Nang Wakas during Sara Duterte-Carpio's event in Quezon City. She said that Panelo didn't ask for her permission to sing it and launched a salvo of tweets against Panelo for supposedly ruining her song.
Cuneta added she'll only allow it in a Leni-Kiko event. She has openly expressed her support for Leni Robredo's presidential bid. Robredo's running mate Kiko Pangilinan is, of course, her husband.
"I’m sorry she feels that way," Panelo said in a statement March 11. "It’s one of my favorite songs because it reminds me of the great lengths I took to care for my late son, Carlo who had Down Syndrome. I honor him each time I sing the song."
His son, Salvador Carlo Panelo III, died of heart complications last Jan. 6, 2017. He was 27 years old.
Panelo said he was "just trying" to entertain the people who attended the meet-and-greet.
"I wasn’t profiting from it, and certainly not trying to get elected by singing it," he said.
Panelo also noted that by singing Sana'y Wala Nang Wakas, he thought he was paying homage to the composer, the late Willy Cruz, "and of course, to Ms. Sharon Cuneta."
As regards Cuneta's pronouncement about not seeking her permission, Panelo said he reached out to Viva Records, the track's copyright owner, and "confirmed" that he has permission to sing the song.
"I will continue to sing it, and will now use it to raise awareness for the plight of children with special needs," he said, even quoting lines from the hit. "As the song goes: ‘Kahit ilang awit ay aking aawitin, hanggang ang himig ko’y maging himig mo na rin.’”
PhilSTAR L!fe has reached out to Viva Records for comment. Cuneta, meanwhile, has yet to respond to Panelo's statement.