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New Tourism chief opens up about Cojuangco affair

AGRICULTURE Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, in a surprise admittance, acknowledged publicly for the first time that she was more than willing to accept her surprise appointment as Tourism secretary vice Wanda Tulfo-Teo.

But she conceded her decision might have jeopardized her relationship with politician Carlos ‘Charlie’ Cojuangco, son of former assemblyman Danding Cojuangco.

“I am happy but he [Charlie] is not happy anymore,” Puyat told a broadcast station in Filipino on Friday—referring to her boy friend’s reaction.

She said they had been struggling to find quality time together, and her heading the Tourism department would doubtless make it doubly difficult now.

“He told me, oh no, you no longer had time for me, with more reason now you would not have that,” the new Tourism chief quoted Cojuangco, a member of the House of Represenatives representing Tarlac, as saying.

There were worrying signs as early as the days following her appointment last week.

She recalled how she failed to make it to a get-together at a friend’s house because she was tired from her media appearances. 

It turned out Cojuangco had prepared a sweet birthday gift for her then.

“He’s trying to be patient,” said Puyat. 

She recalled asking her friends who were at the get-together for help in convincing Cojuangco to not break her heart. “Please tell him to be patient,” she said she told her friends.

Both Puyat and Cojuangco were previously married.

Puyat was widowed in 2010 when her husband, lawyer David Puyat, died following a heart attack; Cojuangco lost his partner, actress-host Rio Diaz, to cancer in 2004.

Topics: Bernadette Romulo-Puyat , Wanda Tulfo-Teo , Danding Cojuangco , Carlos ‘Charlie’ Cojuangco
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