Benjie Paras admits he felt hurt that his sons, Andre, 17, and Kobe, 15, spoke against their estranged mother, Jackie Forster, when they appeared as guests in the June 22 edition of GMA-7’s showbiz-oriented talk show “Startalk.”

But he admitted that although he didn’t know what they were about to say, he can’t stop his sons from speaking their minds because they can already think on their own.

“Sinabi ko sa kanila na as much as possible, try to avoid answering questions. Pero hindi na sila bata na 'pag pinagsabihan mo, 'yon na,” he said in an interview after the  presscon of the ABS-CBN teleserye “Got to Believe” on Tuesday, July 2.

But he understands why his sons asked for space from their mom and said other things that put her in a negative light.

“Sinabihin ko sila na wala tayong magagawa don. You were put on the spot. Next time, the best thing to do is give the showbiz answer, 'no comment.'”

It will be recalled that Andre told his mom on air: “'Yung mga ginawa po niya sa amin dati, super na-traumatized po kami and, as of now, we just want space kasi it took us a long time to move on. And thankfully, we are blessed to have our mom right now, who's with us right now po."

Expected

Benjie admitted he and his wife, Lyxen Diomampo, already expected that they will be put in a bad light after the "Startalk" interview. He knows people will say that he did not teach his sons to behave.

But Benjie is prepared for the criticisms and has decided not to answer back when the time comes.

“Lagi naman ako tahimik lang. Kapag nagsalita ako, lumalala lang.”

What matters to him is the fact that he  has a “happy family inside the kulambo.”

Benjie admits he and Jackie are not in good terms and he doesn’t see any problem if they don’t get in touch anymore.

He understands how hurt Jackie is at this point: “Masakit sa magulang ang ayawan ka ng anak. Naiintidihan ko yon."

But Benjie says he can’t keep his sons from feeling what they feel. “Hindi ko sila pinipigilan mag-decide.”

Fatherly advice

As someone who’s been there, done that, the devoted father has this advice for Kobe and Andre, who are now under his custody:

“Sinasabi ko sa kanila na kapag may girlfriend sila, introduce sa akin. Pag nasaktan kayo, okay lang. It’s a lesson to be learned. Nangyayari 'yan.”

Benjie plays Kathryn Bernardo’s father in “Got to Believe.” The romantic series also topbills Daniel Padilla, who plays a rich kid, and also stars Manilyn Reynes, Carmina Villarroel and Ian Veneracion.

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