Anne Curtis defends Erwan Heussaff's role in 'Buhay Carinderia' project

MANILA, Philippines – Anne Curtis came to the defense of husband Erwan Heussaff after many questioned his involvement in the controversial Buhay Carinderia Project.

During her launch as Ajinomoto endorser, Anne said Erwan merely wants to help promote the country's cuisine.

"I know where Erwan's heart is talaga (really) when it comes to that: it's always about pushing the Filipino food," Anne said.  

She added: "'Yun lang naman ang gusto niya, ma-highlight ang pagkain ng mga Pilipino (That's all he wants to do, to highlight Filipino food), so I support him with that." 

The It's Showtime host and Sid and Aya actress noted she is no stranger to controversy herself. Her advice for her husband? "This too shall pass."

"Basta you know (As long as you know) where your heart is, you don't have to worry about it," Anne said, sharing advice she'd also given her younger sister Jasmine Curtis-Smith. 

Erwan, who runs a food blog and a YouTube channel, was earlier tapped to promote Buhay Carinderia, a project of the Tourism Promotions Board under Cesar Montano. 

It was later revealed that Mary Lindbert International, the advertising company behind the project, was paid P80 million ($1.52 million)* even if it was far from completion. (READ: 'Buhay Carinderia' gets P80M in a month under Cesar Montano)

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat has since suspended the project due to lack of proper bidding. Cesar also tendered his resignation following news reports about the controversy. 

The tourism department had been embroiled in controversy prior to this, after the Commission on Audit questioned the P60 million ($1.15 million) paid by the department for ad placements on the show of former chief Wanda Teo's brothers, Ben and Erwin Tulfo.

Teo eventually resigned from her post. She was replaced by Puyat, who was reportedly shocked by the overspending in the department. –

*US$1 = P52.55