Opinion is divided over how a public marital spat involving the sister of leading presidential contender Senator Benigno Aquino may affect his chances at the ballot box this year. With about four months before the general election in the Philippines, which includes the ballot for president, Senator Aquino's campaign may be at risk, especially since his platform centres on bringing back morality in governance. The 49-year-old son of the late democracy icon, former president Corazon Aquino, was criticised last week over the actions of his younger sister, Kris Aquino, against a woman who is a fan of her husband James Yap, a popular basketball player. Senator Richard Gordon, who was elected to the Senate in the 2004 polls and is a tail-ender in the presidential race, cast doubt over his colleague's integrity, citing the doubtful morals of Aquino's sister, who has publicly flaunted her lovers. 'That's the peril of Noynoy, he used his sister [as a political endorser]. She becomes an issue,' Gordon, who referred to Senator Aquino by his nickname, said. He said Kris' immoral life made her a 'poor endorser' for someone running for the highest public office, adding that close family members of presidential candidates should also lead model lives. Kris Aquino has helped her brother's campaign by encouraging her actor-friends to endorse the senator. The scandal erupted last week after news reports said Kris stood outside the home of the female fan, Mayen Austria, and shouted insults at her and her mother. Catholic bishop Joel Baylon, a close friend of the Austrias who was visiting the family at that time, said that because of what Kris did, 'I now know who I will not vote for'. Baylon, who is head of the Legazpi diocese, said he did not witness the incident but saw Mayen and her mother 'obviously distressed' by it. He refused to elaborate. Kris, who has always been frank about her love life, countered by confirming that she indeed told off the woman, but 'in a very calm, polite [and] civil' manner. The incident followed Austria's call to her husband's mobile phone, Kris said. 'When he answered, I heard a girl crying. I could hear their conversation because it was quiet in the house,' Kris said on nationwide television. ''James, what's wrong with me?' the girl sobbed. 'I did everything but nothing happened',' Kris said. Kris said her husband told Austria, 'If he doesn't want you, don't force it.' Kris told her husband it was wrong for a single woman to confide in a married man about her love life. Earlier, Austria reportedly gave cupcakes to Yap to promote her family's baking business. 'I told James, 'You married me. You made this commitment to me. I am your wife. I have my rights as a wife. I will use those rights to protect myself and our children. I will protect my territory.'' Her comments were widely understood as a warning for Yap to remain faithful following public allegations of an affair involving a beautician. Yap gave a separate interview, saying: 'I've never cheated on Kris ... My wife is so beautiful, why would I look for someone else?' Last week, Kris temporarily moved in with her sister to cool off. She said she had apologised to her brother because 'my marital crisis is now being used to attack you'. She said her brother replied, 'Let me reiterate, prioritise your family, never mind the campaign.' Analysts, however, are not convinced the publicity is all bad. Earl Parreno, an analyst at the Institute for Political and Electoral Reforms, predicted that this episode could boost the senator's campaign. 'The people, especially mothers, who also have marital problems can sympathise with her. This [is one candidate who] will defend the family.' Contrary to Gordon's opinion that the scandal would damage Aquino's poll ratings, Joel Rocamora, director for the Institute for Popular Democracy, said: 'For every controversy that Kris gets involved with, it has been proven that the public sympathises with her more.' The Aquino family is like the Philippines' version of the Kennedy family in the United States. The nation has watched Kris Aquino mature from her teenage years as a giddy, bubbly youngster of 15 to a 38-year-old woman who has led a successful television and movie career, and has political ambitions. She said she might some day run for senator and analysts believe she could win despite having a child out of wedlock and two affairs with married men. She married Yap in 2005. The last affair, which occurred six years ago, even disconcerted her unflappable and almost saintly mother, who publicly blurted out that if her assassinated husband were alive Kris' lover 'would be dead'. Cory Aquino immediately apologised to Joey Marquez, also a former basketball player who was then mayor of Paranaque city in suburban Manila. Their quarrel became so heated that Kris admitted she tried setting fire to their bed and attacking him. Kris later filed a police report saying he had cocked a loaded gun aimed at her head, bruised her badly and given her the sexually transmitted disease, chlamyida. Instead of dooming her career, Kris' popularity skyrocketed and she earned millions as a television talk show host and an endorser of products, including a feminine hygiene wash. Clarita Carlos, a political science professor at the University of the Philippines, said the latest 'Krisis' - a term coined to describe Kris' romantic blowouts - had made a 'boring and extended campaign' sizzle.