Mom comes to Tito Molina’s defense
FUNFARE By Ricardo F. Lo
The Philippine Star 12/18/2004

Sa kangkungan! – Rosanna "Osang" Roces when asked on The Buzz where her husband Tito Molina was

A few issues back, Funfare headlined the break-up of Rosanna Roces and Tito Molina, her husband of 11 years. Starbytes columnist Butch Francisco also did a story on the same issue, mentioning not only more reasons (according to Rosanna) for the separation but also the sad/shocking fact that Rosanna’s 15-year-old daughter Grace was heavy with a child by actor Jolo, son of Sen. Bong Revilla and Lani Mercado.

Funfare mentioned, among other reasons, Tito’s being "irresponsible" and being a "drug addict" (as Funfare source Cristy Fermin quoted her good friend Rosanna) as, so to speak, the straw that broke the camel’s back. Rosanna was quoted by Cristy as saying that she couldn’t stand seeing Tito sniffing shabu in front of her children (the other being Onyok, both Rosanna’s kids from a previous relationship).

Two days after that column came out, Tito’s mother, Josefina "Pit" Tuason Molina, cried "Foul!" and demanded that she be given her so-called "day in court," in defense of her son who has opted to remain quiet so far. Mrs. Molina said that she, too, would have decided to keep mum until Rosanna brought up her name (and those of the other Molinas besides), prompting Mrs. Molina to likewise defend herself.

So, in the spirit of fair play, Funfare sat down with Mrs. Molina (who politely refused to have her photo taken) and gave her a chance to answer the issues raised by Rosanna in Funfare (and in Butch’s column as well).

As soon as we warmed our seats at Annabel’s Restaurant (Tomas Morato Avenue, Quezon City), I asked Mrs. Molina how she felt about Rosanna’s statement on The Buzz that Tito is now in the kangkungan (loosely meaning "in the dumps"), she bristled, speaking in Tagalog, "Kung si Tito pinulot sa kangkungan, mabuti pa ang kangkong may nutritional value. Siya...Saan siya nanggaling? Baka kung saan siya nanggaling ay doon din siya pulutin!"

Fighting words, those.

Mrs. Molina is a pharmacist by profession, widow of jazz artist Lito Molina. Besides Tito, the Molinas have two other children, all professionals like Tito, namely Bong and Tina (married to the son of novelist Loida Virina).

"I never reacted even when Osang was saying so many things against Tito because I said, it’s away ng mag-asawa (a couple’s quarrel). But when Osang dragged me and my family and my grandchildren (referring to Tito’s children with his first wife who’s now in the States and from whom Tito has been separated for many years), aba, I have to stand up and defend our name."

And here, point by point, are Mrs. Molina’s answers to Rosanna’s accusations:

1) According to Rosanna, she learned that Tito was previously married only after they got married.

"She knew all along that Tito had been married to somebody else.

She’d go to our house and watch Tito’s four kids sleeping beside each other. She even commented, ‘Puede ko pala sila maging anak dahil mga mestiza.’ I didn’t know if she and Tito were already living-in.

"At that time, Osang was only starting in showbiz. She told me, ‘Ma, as soon as I start earning, I’ll build a big house and get the (Tito’s) children and have them stay with us (including Osang’s two children)’. Osang even offered me money for the children, but I said, ‘No, that’s my son’s obligation, not yours’."

2) According to Rosanna, the Molinas never treated her well because they disapproved of her and Tito’s relationship.

"I told Tito, ‘Yang mapapangasawa mo ay showbiz; masalimuot, maraming intriga. Can you take it?’ Tito said he could because he loved Osang daw, so I kept quiet. That’s his decision. We accepted Osang even if she was a bold star. We are not rich but I must say that the Molinas and the Tuasons are decent people.

"I never looked down on her. Everytime there was an occasion in our house, I always invited Tito and reminded him to bring Osang along."’ I treated her like one of us, a member of our family. Pinangangaralan ko pa siya, like I do to my own children."

3) According to Rosanna, she was the one sending Tito’s children (now all in the States with their mom) to school.

"That’s not true. I took care of them and sent them to school. Needless to say, kaya ko silang pakainin, contrary to what Osang made it appear na palamunin niya kami. When they met, Tito was earning well in his position at ADB but she convinced him to quit his job so he could manage her career. As manager, Tito deserved to be paid, so pinagpaguran niya kung anuman ang perang ibinabayad ni Osang sa kanya.

"My husband had his own earnings. We are not as ‘impoverished’ as Osang made us appear. Our family used to be a part-owner of Business Day (which has already folded up). I have my own savings and, not to brag about it, I can support myself; I can live comfortably. I have my own house, at may pamana din naman akong lupa kay Tito."

4) According to Rosanna, the Molinas thanked her for making Tito change his ways "for the better."

"Who among the Molinas was she talking about when she dragged Tito into a mess? When they got together, hindi ang image ni Tito ang nag-improve; image ni Osang ang nag-improve. Nagkaroon siya ng konting dignidad."

5) According to Rosanna, she condoled with the Molinas when Lito died but the Molinas never did the same when her own father died.

"I never met her father and/or mother; she never introduced us to them. I learned that her father died only after he was buried. Yes, she was at Lito’s wake and I noticed that she was, well, durog. How did I know? I am a pharmacist, so I should know."

6) According to Rosanna, Tito was sniffing shabu in front of the children and that it was Tito who was supplying her with over-priced Stilnox, charging her P40,000 for a market price of P10,000. (Stilnox was sleeping pill Rosanna was addicted to but is now free from.)

"What? Pinalalabas pa niyang pusher ang anak ko!"

7) According to Rosanna, Tito was a battered child.

"How could Tito be a battered child when he was the nino bonito of the family? It’s more correct to say that Tito was a battered husband. Tito was a pampered child. When he was a kid, I myself brought him to school.

"When he enrolled at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), I visited him in Baguio every weekend. Masaya na ako just to see him marching." (Asked if it’s true that Tito, as mentioned in Butch’s column, never graduated from PMA, Mrs. Molina said, "Tito stayed there for only two years. But at PMA, if you finish first and second year, it’s considered that you belong to the class already. Tito later took up a Computer course.")

After Mrs. Molina answered (only the) issues raised in Funfare (and Starbytes), I asked her what her parting shot was.

"Well," she bristled again, "Reyna siya ng mga sinungaling!"