Chiz Escudero's VP debate performance was 'safe' – analyst
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Francis Escudero on Monday, April 11, shrugged off observations he did not perform well in the vice presidential debate held on Sunday.
While Escudero said people are looking for a boxing match, he claimed it’s just not his style to attack opponents.
Escudero visibly took the backseat while his opponents – Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Ferdinand Marcos Jr, and Antonio Trillanes IV – aggressively attacked each other. He only spoke when asked and rarely threw questions to other candidates.
“Hindi ko ginawa 'yon kagabi. Hindi ko ugali, hindi ko rin estilo 'yon. Hindi ko kailangan sigurong apakan o sirain ang sinomang kapwa ko kandidato,” Escudero said in a chance interview with reporters in Santa Rosa, Laguna.
(I did not do it last night. It's not my character, it's also not my style. I do not need to step on or destroy any of my fellow candidates.)
In fact, the senator said, he even congratulated his opponents after the debate, saying everyone has the intelligence and ability to serve the public.
“Para sa akin siguro, naisulong ko ano'ng nagawa ko na at magagawa ko. Pero para maliitin ko ang ginawa o nagawa ng iba, o para mag-akusa ako o ituro ko ang kasalanan ng iba, siguro naniniwala ako alam naman na ng tao 'yon. Hindi na kailangang magmula pa sa bibig ko,” he said.
(For me, I was able to push for what I have done and can still do. But for me to belittle what others have done or to accuse or point to others' sins, I believe the people already know about those things. They do not have to come from me.)
But for political analyst Edmund Tayao, Escudero was being "safe" during the heated debate.
Tayao said it could be part of Escudero’s strategy not to resort to negative campaigning.
“He appeared more composed than the others. Very few words. You could interpret it as being safe. To my mind, it’s a question of strategy,” Tayao said.
“He must have thought there is no reason to engage in personalistic approach. That explains why he did not bother asking personal question to any of the other bets,” he added.
Viewers, meawhile, criticized the way Escudero spoke, calling his a "robotic voice." Some expressed dismay over his seemingly circuitious way of answering questions.
Tayao agreed with the observations: “Ganyan talaga style nya ever since, maraming palabok. Isa sa mga reasons may mga negative comments sa kanya (That's really his style ever since, flowery words. That's one of the reasons why there are negative comments against him). But it doesn’t make the message any less, it’s a matter of style.”
Tayao maintained Escudero still gave substantial answers on the issue of revenue and tax measures.
But for the senator, the criticism is no big deal, as they only supposedly surface during the election period.
“Lumalabas lang naman ito 'pag panahon ng eleksyon. Pag walang eleksyon, wala namang ganyang uri ng batikos at pagpuna,” he said. (It only comes out during election. If there's no election, there are no criticisms like that.) – Rappler.com
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