‘Best man’ skips Escudero-Evangelista nuptial
The best man will skip Sunday’s much-publicized wedding between Sen. Francis Escudero and actress Heart Evangelista, but it was the groom himself who suggested it.
Mindful of President Benigno Aquino III’s busy schedule, the senator said he had requested his best man, as early as November last year, to skip the event at the members’ only Balesin Island Club off Polillo, Quezon province.
“I initiated it; I know (the President) has a lot of obligations (and) I didn’t want to pressure him to come here,” Escudero said. “I told him I would understand [if he can’t come]. He said, ‘It’s okay,’” the senator added.
Escudero suggested that the President can instead attend the reception at Blue Leaf Filipinas in Parañaque City on Wednesday night, and Mr. Aquino had agreed.
The President’s absence at the wedding had nothing to do with the Jan. 25 Mamasapano debacle, where 44 elite police troopers were killed in a clash with Moro rebels while on a mission to capture two terrorists, the senator said.
The public had criticized President Aquino’s no-show at the arrival honors for the fallen Special Action Force men at the airport, and for choosing to attend the inauguration of a car plant in Laguna province instead. Netizens also dredged up his presence at the recent lavish wedding of movie stars Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera and at the interview for the talk show of TV host Vice Ganda, in the hashtag #nasaanangpangulo that trended on Twitter worldwide.
Escudero said flying by helicopter to Balesin Island would be a hassle for the President and his large entourage composed of the Presidential Security Group.
No takeoffs after 6 p.m.
The President would lose a day if he attended the wedding because takeoffs from the island are prohibited beginning at 6 p.m., and the President would have to sleep over at the resort when he arrives in the afternoon, the senator said. “He can only leave the following day,” he added.
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said Malacañang respected Escudero’s decision.
“We recognize his statement as a friend of the President, and we respect this,” he told reporters in a briefing aired over government-run dzRB.
Escudero’s brother Philip will stand in for Mr. Aquino as best man in the wedding rites to be officiated by Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes, Fr. Jerry Orbos and Fr. Joseph Erestain.
The senator recalled that the President had texted him early this week to ask if he was still jittery on his second wedding. “I told him: Slightly,” Escudero said, chuckling.
The senator was married for 10 years to Christine Elizabeth Flores with whom he has fraternal twins.
Also invited to the wedding were Sen. Grace Poe and Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo Benitez, who are part of the entourage, and Mayor Ester Hamor of Casiguran, Sorsogon province, one of the principal sponsors.
“It will be intimate and solemn,” Escudero said of the wedding. “We have less than 200 guests, 99 percent of whom are part of the entourage.”
Evangelista’s sister, Camille, is the maid of honor.
Originally posted: 2:35 PM | Friday, February 13th, 2015