Dennis Padilla penned a public apology for his son Leon Barretto after the latter wrote an open letter explaining the lack of a “Happy Father’s Day” greeting from the actor’s children with ex-wife Marjorie Barretto.
It was on Sunday, June 26, when Leon took to Instagram to post his letter addressed to his estranged father, with the intention to “protect his sisters” as “the only man of the family.”
“Dear Papa, I’ve been contemplating whether I should write this to you and if this is even the best way to do so. But It seems that social media is your preferred way to reach us so maybe I can try it too,” Leon wrote in response to Dennis’ now-deleted post saying that his kids with Marjorie “forgot” to greet him last Father’s Day.
“Sorry if I wasn’t able to greet you a ‘Happy Father’s Day’. It’s always been an awkward day for us ‘cause we never seem to know where we stand with you every year. I’ve always envied people who never even have to think twice about greeting their dads a ‘Happy Father’s Day’,” he continued.
“For the past 10 years, we have been trying so hard to slowly rebuild the bridge you continuously burn every time you talk about our private matters in your press cons, interviews, and social media. Papa, why does it seem like you enjoy hurting your kids in public? Why do you keep posting cryptic posts about us and allow people to bash us on your own Instagram page? Do you think it does not pain all of us to not feel protected by their own father,” he appealed to his father.
Leon stressed how Dennis’ words could make or break him and his sisters, actress Julia Barretto and singer-songwriter Claudia Barretto.
“Is public sympathy really more important to you than your own children? Your words have the power to destroy your children, papa,” he said.
"For years I watched my sisters get torn into pieces because of your false narratives and not once did they explain their side nor speak negatively about you in public. It's exhausting, papa. As the only man in the family, this is me stepping up to protect my sisters,” he asserted.
In the end, Leon pleaded with Dennis to put a stop to his way of “public shaming" them.
“I need you to know that I want nothing else but to move forward in the safest and healthiest manner possible. I want peace, papa. Can you please stop resorting to public shaming when things don't go your way?” he appealed.
He ended his letter by telling Dennis, “I long for the day when I can greet you a ‘Happy Father’s Day’ and know that it comes from a place of gratitude and healing.”
A day later, Dennis posted a throwback photo of himself with Leon on Instagram, along with a caption responding to his son’s open letter.
“I am sorry, Leon. Miss ko lang kayo. God bless you more! Just want to know what false narrative I said in public? I (have) been reaching out to all of you for 15 years in private,” he disclosed to the public.
In a separate Instagram post, Dennis took a photo of a handwritten note about his regrets as a father to Julia, Claudia, and Leon.
He prefaced the letter, “To be your father is the greatest honor I have received. It allowed me to touch the grace of God even for a moment and to see my love made flesh. I have regretfully made mistakes in my life. I may not have been there for you but I always had you in my heart.”
“Sometimes in life there are things that we will never understand why it happened,” he wrote.
Reaching out to his children, Dennis added, “In the end, I regret all the moments I let slip by. I regret all the times I hid my feelings from you. If I could have but one wish. I would love to spend some time with you. After all there is not much more to life than that.”
Leon, Julia, and Claudia has remained in the custody of their mother Marjorie since her split with Dennis.
Vlogger Dani Barretto is Marjorie’s daughter with Kier Legaspi.
Recom Echiverri is the father of their youngest sibling Erich.
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