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MANILA, Philippines – “Pabayaan na lamang natin sila [Let’s just let them be for now].”
This was the reply of Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago on Sunday when asked if Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero is actively courting actress Heart Evangelista, whom she introduced to her fellow senator after his marriage fell apart and Heart had broken up with her boyfriend.
Santiago said in a radio interview she introduced Escudero to Heart because the actress was having a hard time forgetting her last lover, actor-model Daniel Matsunaga, after they parted ways early this year.
“Well, I introduced the two of them to each other because I knew Heart had a tough time then, kaya I asked her, lumabas siya at sumama sa iba’t ibang klase ng tao [so I advised her to go out and start seeing different kinds of people],” Santiago said.
In the midst of this episode where she was dishing out advice to the young actress, the irrepressible senator then had this idea of asking Escudero to date Heart. “Kaya pinakiusapan ko naman si Chiz na ilabas mo naman ang kaibigan ko kasi, masyadong malungkot ang kanyang kalagayan ngayon, kaya sila nagkakilala ngayon I asked Chiz to please date my friend, she’s quite sad now; that’s how they got to know each other],” Santiago said.
Santiago also said she made sure before introducing Heart to her peer that Escudero was not merely separated from his wife, but that his marriage had been annulled.
“I told her, that this young man …was not simply separated from his wife, but that there was an annulment, to take effect at a certain date,” Santiago explained.
Santiago said the age gap between Chiz and Heart [he's in his early 40s, and she's in her early twenties] should not matter to lovers, but the only downside is when they both go older, they might have vastly disparate interests.
“The age gap between my mother and father was 12 years, so that my mother ‘abused’ my father. Me and Jun [her husband] are nearly of he same age. The downside from a huge age gap is if they acquire very different interests when they grow older,” Santiago said.
Meanwhile, Escudero confirmed that Santiago had introduced him to Heart.
“Yup, si Miriam ang nagpakilala sa akin kay Heart,” Escudero said in an interview right after Miriam’s interview.
Escudero also admitted that Heart occasionally calls him, and that he calls Heart “from time to time.” “Yup, tinatawagan nya ako, tumatawag ako sa kanya,” Escudero said.
Santiago said she had suggested to Heart to have a pre-nuptial agreement drawn up with whoever she wanted to marry in order to straighten things up before signing the marriage contract.
“Pero, tanong ko lang sa iyo (Heart) bilang surrogate mother mo, or assistant mother mo, na papirmahin mo muna ng prenuptial agreement (ang magiging asawa mo) na ako ang gagawa, “Santiago said.
The actress is the scion of a rich family in the restaurant business.