MANILA, Philippines >> Singer Charice Pempengco of the hit TV show “Glee” appealed Wednesday for justice for her father, who was stabbed to death in her Philippine hometown, as police offered a reward and hunted for the suspect.
Authorities were preparing murder charges and will distribute public photographs of a man they said was intoxicated when he became angry after 40-year-old construction worker Ricky Pempengco brushed against him, San Pedro town police chief Kirby Kraft said.
Pempengco was buying cigarettes from a store late Monday when he was stabbed with an ice pick in the chest and back. The suspect fled the following morning after talking to his mother about the killing, Kraft said, adding they had at least two witnesses.
Police and local officials offered a reward leading to the suspect’s arrest.
Charice flew back to the Philippines and paid respects to her father early Wednesday. She also apologized for canceling the rest of her tour dates, saying “my family comes first.” She had been scheduled to perform in Singapore.
“Whoever did this must be brought to justice. Justice must be served, not just for my father but for everyone concerned,” she told a radio interview.
Charice had been estranged from her father but said they had a great relationship, even though they had not had time to bond.
“I loved him and I will still love him,” she wrote. “He’s still my Dad after all.”
The 19-year-old songstress, born Charmaine Clarice Relucio Pempengco, is known throughout Asia from concerts and TV talent shows in the Philippines and South Korea. She plays a recurring role on “Glee” as exchange student Sunshine Corazon.
In an interview with The Associated Press in 2010, Charice talked about the possibility of reconnecting with her father: “When he left us, I was 3 years old, and it’s been 15 years now and I haven’t seen or heard from him, but still, I wanna thank him because he’s my dad, and I want to thank him for everything that he did, even if it’s just a short time.
“But all the credit I want to give to my mom because she stayed for us for however many years.”