MANILA - Vice presidential candidate Senator Francis ''Chiz'' Escudero on Friday revealed the sponsors who paid for some of the expenses in his wedding to actress Heart Evangelista in Balesin Island Club in Quezon last year.
In an interview on "Ikaw na Ba: The DZMM Vice Presidential Candidates' Interviews," Escudero admitted that most of the wedding expenses were paid for by sponsors.
Among the sponsors named by Escudero were Bobby Ongpin, who owns Balesin Island Resort, and GMA Network.
"Sa Balesin, 'yung ilang bisita roon, personal na binayaran nila kasi unang beses sila makakarating doon. Ini-sponsor ng Balesin ang wedding proper, dahil 'yun din ang unang beses na na-ilagay sila sa mapa. 'Yung reception namin sa Maynila, ini-sponsor ng GMA 7, dahil hinost nila 'yung special para ma-air sa kabilang istasyon. 'Yung wedding rin namin, ini-sponsor," he said.
Escudero and Evangelista got married in the posh island resort in February 15, 2015, after being in a relationship for two years.
Escudero also said there is no conflict of interest in receiving gifts from his wedding sponsors and his position as a lawmaker.
"Karamihan naman ng mga sponsor sa kasal, 'yung mga may pangalan, palaging may kaso, isa na siya roon. Kaya kong banggitin din, lahat yata ng sponsors namin sa wedding may kaso. Sibil man o sa negosyo man, wala naman sigurong kriminal. Pero ang conflict of interest, papasok lamang kung ginamit mo ang pangalan at pwesto mo para tulungan siya. Wala akong ginagawang ganun. Kailanman, hindi ko ginawa yun para sa kanino man sa kanila," he explained.
He pointed out that he has not attended any of the Senate hearings that had Ongpin as a resource person to avoid conflict of interest.
"Dahil tumayo sila bilang sponsor sa kasal, kaya ako hindi lumahok dahil tinuturing kong conflict of interest," he said.
Ongpin, a trade minister under the martial law regime of Ferdinand Marcos, testified at the Senate on two controversies. He first defended a P660 million loan from state-owned Development Bank of the Philippines to his Delta Venture Resources Inc. in 2009, which allowed him to finance the acquisition of Philex Mining Corp.
Ongpin also denied giving kickbacks to Vice President Jejomar Binay in exchange for Alphaland Corp's deal to develop a one-hectare property in Makati City owned by the Boy Scouts of the Philippines.
Escudero said he has not received any pledges from Ongpin, businessman Ramon Ang, or any other wedding sponsor for his vice-presidential bid.
"Nakita ko yan nung 2004, nakita ko yan nung 2010 at ngayon nakikita ko rin. Vice-president [candidate] walang masyadong nagbibigay dahil hindi nila alam kung anong pwesto ang hahawakan mo at hindi nila alam kung kakampi mo yung mananalong presidente at bibigyan ka ng pwesto," he said.