Bacolod City First Lady Nikki Benitez clarified the alleged separation between her and her husband, Mayor Alfredo Benitez, which was reported by an entertainment news site over the weekend.
"In light of the recent article and its distressing contents, I wish to clarify that there have been no discussions between my husband and I regarding separation or annulment," said Mrs. Benitez.
"The quotes attributed to him in the media, suggesting romantic links with several actresses, came as a surprise. We have been living under one roof for 31 years, maintaining our family's unity through all of life’s challenges. My commitment to handling our personal matters with dignity and respect remains unchanged. I am especially focused on shielding our children from any pain or anguish brought about by this matter," Mrs. Benitez added.
Mayor Benitez was quoted on the entertainment news site, saying, "We have not been a couple for several years already. In fact, we have gotten a dissolution in court several years back."
For his part, Victorias City Mayor Javier Miguel Benitez, son of Mayor Benitez, said on his Facebook account, "We're as shocked as everyone because this wasn't spoken about in private, but mom I want you to know that I thank you and love you for all that you have done for our family. We know how much you have sacrificed for me and Bettina. I am eternally grateful."
Mayor Alfredo Benitez has not yet issued an official statement on the matter.*