ASUNCION – The president of Paraguay and former Catholic Bishop Fernando Lugo admitted publicly Monday that he fathered the child at the center of a paternity suit filed last week against the head of state.
“It is true there was a (sexual) relationship with Viviana Carrillo (the baby boy’s mother),” Lugo said in a message to the public, in which he added that he will assume “all the responsibilities arising from the fact of acknowledging paternity of the child.”
Last Wednesday, attorneys Claudio Costinchok and Walter Acosta filed a paternity suit on behalf of Carrillo, 26, who subsequently repudiated the lawyers’ action.
The woman handed a note to reporters at the door of her home in the Asuncion suburb of Fernando de la Mora, in which she categorically denied “having signed a paternity suit against the president of the republic.”
“As a Paraguayan, as president of the republic, as a Christian and lay person I did not wish to hurry a reply during this holy season,” Lugo, who kept silent during Holy Week and did not appear at any religious ceremony, said Monday.
He said that he decided to do so before the public and his own conscience out of respect for all the people who placed their trust in him, with “the most absolute honesty, transparency and sense of duty.”
Lugo, 58, renounced the priesthood in December 2006 to concentrate on politics. At that time he was bishop emeritus of the diocese of San Pedro, where the child’s mother comes from.
“From this moment and respecting my conscience, the privacy of the child and the high responsibilities that at the same time are imposed on me by the office of president, I will make no more statements on the subject,” Lugo said. EFE