In the wedding month of June, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago said at a posh Cebu City wedding, that all newlyweds should consider it a moral duty to observe reproductive health during marriage.
Santiago, as principal wedding sponsor and guest speaker on Saturday, June 23, exhorted a newly-married couple to “follow the RH paradigm,” at a 5-star hotel wedding reception attended by some of the most prominent Cebu City families.
“Reproductive health is the new wave of the future. The critics are flaying a dead horse. To mix metaphors, the critics are missing the boat. In the 2013 elections, the voters will educate the non-educable,” said Santiago, and then launched her popular pick-up lines at the Shangrila Hotel Marquee.
The wedding mass, held at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, was punctuated by giggles, when Santiago walked toward the altar to join the other sponsors for a group photo, and a camera tripod fell with a big bang to the floor.
Quick as a flash, Santiago turned to the erring cameraman and pretended to shoot him with her extended forefinger and upraised thumb.
During the procession toward the exit, Santiago had a repeat of a standing ovation for her at a ballet performance in Pasay City, when she was mobbed not only by the guests, but also by other people who were present for the Saturday anticipated mass.
Mob scenes also occurred at the Cebu international airport when Santiago both arrived and when she departed, and even at the Ayala Mall in the central business district.
Together with actress Heart Evangelista, Santiago patiently posed for photos, causing a stampede on the ground floor, and causing crowds to lean precariously out of the balconies on the second floor.
Mall guards and PNP officers had to clear a path for Santiago to exit.
The wedding between Robert Tambis and Mary Elizabeth Avanzado brought in a planeload of VIP sponsors, including Santiago and husband, former presidential adviser Narciso Y. Santiago, Jr.; Supreme Court Justice Jose Mendoza; Sandiganbayan Justice Gregory Ong; Court of Appeals Justice Ramon Bato; former Rizal Governor Casimiro Ynares; and Cebu City notables such as former GSIS Chair Winston Garcia; Atty. Jose Mejia; Atty. Ernesto Gana; Dr. Jesus Lagunsad; Engr. Efren Canlas;
Police Sr. Superintendent Gilberto Cruz; William Tieng; Dennis Anthony Uy; Marlon Nicanor; Joshua Naing; and James Medina. Most of the sponsors were paired with their own spouses.
Santiago said that after Pres. Aquino’s SONA, the Senate will proceed to second reading of the RH bill, meaning that amendments will be introduced.
“We are amenable to any amendment, as long as the senators are willing to put the bill to a vote on second reading. Because of the long delay in passing this bill from Congress to Congress, sometimes it no longer looks like an RH bill but a geriatric bill,” Santiago joked.
Santiago said that all churches in the country, except the Catholic church, support the RH measure.
“But within the Catholic church itself, you will be surprised by how many progressive priests and bishops are in favor of the bill, although they cannot say so in public,” she said.