DAVAO CITY – The newly-wed partylist representative in Davao Occidental aired her side to the wedding that critics have described as grand and lavish that ran contrary to the marginal sector that she represented in Congress.
Rep. Claudine Diana D. Bautista of the Dumper PTDA Partylist, which represents the public drivers in the country, said on her online statement posted on Friday that “given the situation, I would also like to express my sadness over how my wedding day, something that I have separated from my work as a public official, has been made into a political spectacle”.
“First, I would like to acknowledge all of the sentiments asserted by everyone. I hear you, and I have internalized all of the grievances that were brought up in light of what was supposed to be a private and personal milestone,” said Bautista, who belongs to the family of politicians in Davao Occidental.
She said she and her husband has tried to make the wedding public but a misstep from a celebrity gown designer leaked the photographs of the wedding to the Internet. “We had no intention of making our wedding a public affair, so we kept it as intimate as possible. However, access was unintentionally given through the post of my wedding gown designer, Michael Cinco and he mistakenly posted about the private event.”
“He has since, also apologized for bringing unwanted attention to an event that was supposed to be separate from my life as a public servant,” she said.
The wedding photographs became viral, mostly critical of how the congresswoman was supposed to represent the public utility drivers but was holding a supposed “grandiose” and “lavish” wedding.
“My husband has been planning this special day with me for years even before the pandemic, and it pains us to see how things after our wedding turned out. This was supposed to be the culminating event of a decades-long love story. My husband is a kind and loving person and all he wanted was to give me the wedding of my dreams. We both found many of the comments heartbreaking. This celebration of our love was a product of my husband’s hard work,” she added.
She said her economic status was not a hindrance to take care of the needs of the drivers that she represented.
“People have been questioning my public service record when in reality, during the pandemic, we were able to help vaccinate 18,000 PUV drivers, we provided assistance through DSWD, DOLE-TUPAD, and DOH all around the country, we advocated for the immediate release of financial assistance for PUV drivers by filing a House Resolution and worked to ensure that the deadline for consolidation of PUVs is extended,” she said.
To address the effects of the pandemic, “in my personal capacity, I also made sure that more than 1.1 million grocery packs, PPEs, free insurance policies, and relief assistance are distributed to affected PUV drivers and commuters. From my personal funds, I have donated P3 million to doctors and nurses to ensure that their tireless sacrifice is recognized”.
“Moving forward, I want to move past this issue and focus on pressing matters – the pandemic and serving better my constituents,” she said. “I will no longer indulge in the statements by people of influence against me as I will leave it up to my legal team to address this.”
She assured that “I have always been transparent with my office’s accomplishments and ongoing efforts, and we will continue to do so despite detractors aiming to change the narrative and devalue our achievements”.