- (PHOTO: REUTERS / Fred Thornhill)
“Glee” star Charice Pempengco is flying back home to the Philippines to be with her family after her estranged father was stabbed to death Monday.
The rising actress and singing sensation, who plays Sunshine Corazon in Fox’s hit television series, canceled her upcoming concerts in Singapore due to the incident, tweeting her apologies.
“I am very sorry to all my fans from Singapore. I am not going to be there to be part of David Foster and Friends concert. I have to go back to the Philippines as soon as possible to be with my family. I hope you all understand. I love you all and I will see you next year.”
According to The Philippine Star, her father, Ricky Pempengco, 40, was killed after a brief encounter with a man at a grocery store.
Pempengco had been shopping for cigarettes in San Pedro, Laguna, when he accidentally brushed up against Angel Capili Jr., a 35-year-old construction worker whom witnesses later identified.
Enraged, Capili stabbed Pempengco with a 12-inch ice pick in the chest and in the back, killing him on the spot, San Pedro Police Chief Superintendent Kirby John Kraft told the Star.
Police reported that both men were drunk when they bumped into each other. Kraft believed that Capili had previously met Pempengco years before and held a grudge against him, leading him to stab the victim Monday. The two had purportedly fought six years ago, while both attending a wake.
Pempengco’s sister, however, denied that her brother knew the suspect, who is currently in hiding.
Senior Superintendent Gilbert Cruz, the Laguna police director, has offered a $470 reward to anyone who has information that will lead to the suspect’s arrest.
Pempengco had long been separated from his daughter and wife prior to the incident.
Charice, who rose to fame through YouTube, told Oprah Winfrey in an interview that she had not seen her father since she was 3-years-old.
Her father had come home one evening and began to fight with her mother, Raquel, holding a shotgun to her head. Neighbors broke down the door and broke up the fight, after which they fled and never looked back.
After hearing of her father’s death, she tweeted in Tagalog and English, “I just want you to know that we had a really great relationship before all the trouble started. My mother didn’t know that when I was young, my father told me that he wanted me to be a soldier because I’m a fearless woman. I loved him, and I will still love him. He’s still my dad after all.”
Her father’s death has brought to the surface tension within the family, with her aunt making a statement that she and her mother would have been happy with what happened to her father, the Star reported.
His siblings had purportedly been the cause of much controversy between her and her father.
Responding back on her Twitter, she wrote in her native language, according to ABS-CBN News, “To my father’s siblings, you have no right to say or guess how I feel. Who are you to say that I should be happy over the death of my own father. You’re just his siblings and I am the daughter. Mother never stopped us from visiting daddy, but you wouldn’t allow us.”
“I have long kept silent about your scandalous behavior. But now, even with his death you’re still at it. I am not afraid, especially of people with no respect,” she added.
The posts were later deleted however.
Charice’s mother, responding to her late husband’s death, told ABS-CBN she was shocked by the news. She was not sure if she would attend the funeral.
When asked if she had forgiven her husband for his past behavior, she replied in her language, “I forgave him a long time ago. It’s painful because he is still the father of Charice.”
Charice Pempengco, 19, jumped to fame after catching the attention of Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey on YouTube. Oprah dubbed her as “the most talented girl in the world.”
She released her first international studio album “Charice” in 2010, which entered the Billboard 200 at number eight, making her the first Asian artist to land in the Top 10 of the charts.
Her new album “Infinity,” features a single written by Bruno Mars called “Before It Explodes.”