John Rendez speaks to reporters after a press conference announcing his music comback.
“She’s a very, very import-ant part of my life, she’s my best friend. Kumbaga leader ko ‘yan eh, protege lang ako eh, tag along lang ako eh. Bodyguard lang ako kung pwede,” Rendez told ABS-CBN News during a press conference announcing his local music comeback held Friday.
In recent years, when Aunor was embroiled in a number of controversies during her stay in the United States, Rendez was reported to have had a “bad influence” on the veteran actress.
Aunor’s supposed involvement with illegal drugs and alleged frequent visits to casinos, at the time, was even attributed to her friendship with Rendez. The film icon, however, would always come to the defense of the former rapper, fueling speculations on their relationship.
“There’s no romantic link or anything,” said Rendez, who, as Aunor’s daughter Matet de Leon had been quoted as noting, has been an unfailing presence in the superstar’s life.
Addressing criticisms he may have “used” Aunor’s success to further his career and personal interests, Rendez said:
“I’ve gotten to know her, I’ve seen the way people respect her, but I’ve also seen the way that some people treat her and they want to use her.”
“I don’t want to use her. I just want to be there, to help her when she was at the lowest parts, her darkest days, I was there,” he said.
“And then when she’s up, at her peak, I don’t want to be there muddling it up, but I’m still there in the background, but I’ll always be there as a friend. ‘Yun ang papel ko,” he added.