Man claims to be Richard Yap's illegitimate son; actor says it's 'politically motivated'

MANILA, Philippines – A 24-year-old man from Bacoor, Cavite, has filed a civil case seeking recognition as his son against Cebu City North District congressional candidate and actor Richard Yap.

Joshua Paolo Jenson, who currently resides in Barangay Sambag II, filed a case for compulsory recognition on October 28 at the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Cebu City, requesting the court's assistance in compelling Yap to recognize him as his son and accord him the appropriate rights.

Man claims to be Richard Yap's illegitimate son
Image Courtesy: ABS-CBN, Facebook/Josh Jenson

According to lawyer John Gadon, one of Jenson’s counsels, the court may order a DNA test to prove Yap and Jenson's biological relationship.

Jenson was born in Quezon City on October 5, 1997, to a woman named Cherymae Valdez Jenson. He was 10 years old when he learned the identity of his biological father. His mother pointed out the actor in a Chow King commercial. He began actively looking for Yap when he turned 15 years old but it all turned in vain.

“Nagulat ako dun. Hindi na ako tumigil kakahanap sa kanya. Nagcontact ako through facebook, social accounts, sa wife niya, sa anak nya, wala po. Blinock lang nila ako. Matagal ko na siyang hinahanap,” said Jenson.

According to his mother, Yap last saw her when she went for a pre-natal ultrasound after learning she was pregnant with Jenson in 1996. Since then, Yap is said to have disappeared from their lives and was unable to sign Jenson's certificate of live birth.

Jenson is pleading with Yap to confront him, submit to a DNA test, and accept responsibility for fathering him. He stated that he has struggled emotionally as a result of growing up without a father.

Jenson said he did not have ill intentions against Yap and wasn't even aware of his political aspirations. He said, however, that it would be unfair for the Cebuanos to have him as a public servant when he couldn't even take care of his child.

“Wala naman akong masamang intensyon. Ang gusto ko lang naman ay ilaban yung rights ko…Kung talagang totoo yung intensyon niya sa mga Cebuanos, paano nya maayos na maseserbisyohan nya kung sarili nyang anak di nya mapanindigan,” said Jenson.

In a Facebook post, Jenson said he feels bad that Yap is not recognizing him. He reiterated that he is not a liar.

"Ang sakit naman po. Alam nya na anak nya ako. Sinamahan pa nya mommy ko ilang beses sa ultrasounds. Alam nya ang bahay namin. Humarap cya sa pamilya ko, sa lola ko. Hindi po ako sinungaling. Kaya nag sampa ako ng kaso para ma DNA test kaming dalawa," he wrote.

Politically motivated?

Meanwhile, Yap denies fathering any illegitimate child as he has a wife and two children living in Cebu. He questioned the timing and identity of Jenson, especially because he is running for a congressional seat. He also stressed how the man decided to file the case in Cebu when it's obvious that he is not from the city and cannot speak Visayan.

Yap believes that the stunt is political in nature. He noted that a female Cebu City Councilor running for Congress had said in a live video that she had found Yap's illegitimate son and had hired him to work for her.

Yap said, "So this has all been planned from the start…I have never seen him, met him, talked to him ever since. Ambot lang asa na niya gikuha nga ako iyang amahan." [I don't know where he got the idea that I am his father.]

The only female councilor running for Congress in Cebu City is Yap's former partymate turned political opponent, Councilor Prisca Nia Mabatid of the Barug PDP-Laban.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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