MANILA – Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on Wednesday mourned the death of veteran singer Claire dela Fuente, 62.
During his commentary show “Counterpoint,” Panelo said dela Fuente’s sudden passing proves that no one is exempt from catching coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“Tayo po ay nalulungkot at nakikiramay sa pagpanaw ng ating kaibigan Claire dela Fuente (We are saddened by the passing of our friend, Claire dela Fuente. We condole with her family),” Panelo said. “Ito po ay nagpapatunay lamang na ang Covid ay walang sinasanto (Her death shows Covid spares no one).”
Dela Fuente died on Tuesday morning due to cardiac arrest, her son, Gregorio de Guzman confirmed.
De Guzman, who is also Covid-19 positive, said her mother had suffered anxiety after testing positive for coronavirus.
Panelo recalled that he was supposed to meet dela Fuente a few days ago to seek his advice after her son was slapped with criminal charges in connection with the controversial Jan. 1 death of flight attendant Christine Dacera.
He, however, said the meeting did not push through because dela Fuente contracted Covid-19.
“I was waiting for her five days ago. And then nagpatawag and then pina-cancel dahil nga raw may Covid ang mga kasama niya. Yun pala ay kasama na siya roon (She, however, called and cancelled the meeting because she was exposed to people with Covid-19. It turned out she was also infected),” Panelo said.
Panelo said dela Fuente will always be remembered as “The Karen Carpenter of the Philippines.”
“Mawawalan na tayo ng napakagandang tinig sa himpapawid. Hindi po ba ang boses nito ay parang si Karen Carpenter. Ito ho ang ating local Karen Carpenter. Napakaganda ng boses (We lose a music icon. Her voice is similar to Karen Carpenter’s. She is the local Karen Carpenter. She has a good voice),” he said.
Dela Fuente, who rose to fame in the 1970s with her Original Pilipino Music (OPM) jukebox hit “Sayang,” was also dubbed as “Asia’s Sweetest Voice” during the peak of her singing career.
Apart from being an OPM icon, dela Fuente also ventured into different businesses, including owning bus company, Philippine Corinthian Liner Corp. (PCLC).
Last year, the Court of Tax Appeals found dela Fuente guilty of tax evasion in her capacity as a corporate officer of her bus firm and sentenced her to seven years in prison.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Tuesday said PCLC may still face charges despite dela Fuente’s death. (PNA)