MANILA, Philippines – Senator Francis Escudero is set to announce that he will be seeking the vice presidency on Thursday, September 17, a day after his friend and ally Senator Grace Poe shall have declared her presidential bid.
The event, which is open to the public, will be held at 10 am at the Club Filipino in San Juan, the same venue where Escudero’s friend President Benigno Aquino III endorsed administration standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas II on July 31.
At Thursday’s event, Poe is set to introduce Escudero, who will then deliver a 15-minute message. The program, according to Escudero’s camp, is expected to be finished in an hour.
Poe and Escudero have long declared they would seek the two highest posts as a tandem. The lady senator earlier said she is more comfortable to run with Escudero. The two have also made the rounds in provinces and attending events together.
Escudero earlier resigned as chairman of the powerful Senate finance committee out of “delicadeza,” as he said he was “seriously” considering running for higher post in 2016.
Despite strong backlash at the peak of the Iglesia ni Cristo controversy, Escudero stood by his comments on the politically powerful group’s right to defend their beliefs as warranted by the Constitution. He then hit the Aquino administration for acting late on the issue. (READ: Aquino admin acted late in INC crisis – Chiz)
Escudero detrimental to Poe?
Escudero and Poe met with the President and Roxas several times in the past, but failed to reach an agreement.
Escudero was seen as the stumbling block to the Liberal Party’s plan for a Roxas-Poe tandem for 2016.
In 2010, Escudero supported the tandem of Aquino and Jejomar Binay or NoyBi, even if Roxas was Aquino’s running mate.
At present, though, Escudero and Binay are no longer in good terms. (READ: A long way from ‘Noybi’: Chiz weighs in on Binay)
Binay dropped Escudero and Poe from the United Nationalist Alliance’s senatorial ticket in 2013 after the two independent candidates chose to campaign exclusively with the Liberal Party-led coalition.
Escudero and Poe, for their part, signed the committee report recommending filing of plunder charges against Binay.
The Poe-Escudero tandem, however, does not sit well with some people, including Poe’s mentor in 2013 Senator Sergio Osmeña III. (READ: Is Chiz Escudero weighing down Grace Poe’s chances in 2016?)
Osmeña earlier said for someone like Poe, who has a spotless record and is perceived “clean” by the public, an association with Escudero may be detrimental due to issues associated with him.
“She should run without extra weight, not running with anyone. Dapat mag-isa ka lang (She should be by herself.) Let the people decide,” Osmeña said on July 15. – Rappler.com
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