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Former Miss World Philippines speaks of father’s death in police station



Happier times: Hillarie Parungao with her father Edmundo

The former Miss World Philippines, whose father reportedly shot himself inside a police station after being arrested on drug charges, has spoken out about her loss.

Writing on Facebook, Hillarie Parungao paid tribute to her father, Edmundo Parungao, aged 46, who was said to have grabbed a gun and shot himself in the mouth at a police station in Solano, Nueva Vizcaya, on Tuesday, April 18.

She also hinted that the police version of events may be questionable. In a timeline update yesterday, she wrote: “Knock, knock. Who’s there? Lies!” The statement is an apparent reference to Oplan Tokhang in which — as in her father’s case — police knock on drug suspects’ doors and ask them to surrender.

Her statement in full:

“My dad worked in Taiwan when I was very little and I only know him through pictures and letters. I must say, my modeling career started when he asked my mom to constantly send him our photos.

“This picture was taken when he came back from overseas; I finally have a face of my father.

“He was holding a keyboard organ for me, to which I went ballistic when I learned that my brother donated it in school. He had a bucket of lego for my brother.

“I was stunned to see my dad in person. To finally put a face on the man I have loved through photos, paid phone calls and cassette tape recordings.

“I followed him everywhere around the house without him knowing, hiding behind his shadow. I turned my back for a while and I lost him, I went out of the house and found him standing by the wooden gate of our house. Reluctantly I came close to him only to see that he was tearing up. It broke my heart, terribly.

“A father that he was, he didn’t want me to see him crying and asked me to get him a match for his cigarette. I obliged and hurried back to him. Looking up with my eyes asking him, he gave me a smirk and told me to go back in. But I stood there just watching him.

“My first memory of my dad… A man in his denim jeans and white t-shirt. Bubbly , full of life and love, hurting and sobbing. I kept that first memory vividly, because at that very moment I told myself that I will never want to see my father cry again, I never want him to ever be hurt.

“Few people close to me have heard of this story…

“As I sit watching him now sleeping still, I told him: ‘Dad, you will never be hurt anymore.’

“I’m broken, I will always be, and no one or nothing can ever mend my heart; but these words give me comfort…”

Mr Parungao will be buried on Sunday at 7.30am at Dos Hermanos, Solano Nueva Vizcaya.

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Hillarie said: “Sing along with his favourite songs as we bring him to his resting place and pray for his soul.

“I can just imagine him all smiles and ready to throw his antics when he sees you all there.”

Hillarie, a Chinese-Filipino television presenter and model, competed in the 2015 edition of Miss World held in Sanya, China, where she finished in tenth place.