Binay-Chiz for 2016? This campaign sticker says so
Is there a brewing Noy-Bi part 2 in the form of a Binay-Chiz tandem?
A campaign sticker spotted on a public utility bus along EDSA is promoting the candidacy of Vice President Jejomar Binay for president and Senator Francis Escudero for vice president.
This comes months after Binay and Escudero met through a common friend in Davao City, sparking rumors of another underground tandem. (READ: Escudero on meeting Binay in Davao: Not much talk, but 'food was good')
Escudero earlier said the meeting with his former ally was not an act of betrayal against his presidential bet Senator Grace Poe. He then assured Poe she has nothing to worry about. (READ: Meeting with VP Binay not a betrayal of Grace Poe – Chiz)
Rappler sought Escudero for comment but to no avail.
United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) president and Navotas Representative Toby Tiangco, for his part, denied UNA's role in the spread of the “Bi-Chiz” propaganda.
Tiangco said it was the first time he saw the material and maintained UNA is all out for Senator Gregorio Honasan, Binay’s running mate.
"UNA is 100% behind Gringo as our vice presidential candidate. If both Binay and Gringo win, Gringo will be in charge of peace and order. Among all VP (vice presidential) candidates, he is the best to solve our peace and order problems," Tiangco told Rappler in a text message.
Asked who might be behind this, Tiangco refused to point fingers as it is "hard to tell (who)."
"The loyal supporters of VP (Binay) will not do this," he said.
While Binay and Escudero now belong to different political camps, they have a rich history. Both were members of the Genuine Opposition during the term of former President Gloria Arroyo. They were also supporters of the late action star Fernando Poe Jr in the 2004 presidential elections.
2010 was a significant year for them, as Escudero supported the Noy-Bi tandem of Benigno Aquino III and Binay, instead of Aquino's running mate Manuel "Mar" Roxas II. During the latter part of the campaign, Escudero even came out with political advertisements promoting the former Makati City mayor.
As the saying goes, there are no permanent friends or enemies in politics. The two eventually went separate ways when Escudero chose to join the Team PNoy slate instead of Binay’s UNA during the 2013 elections. The senator also signed the Senate committee report recommending plunder charges against the Vice President.
No repeat of ‘Noy-Bi’ this time
To this day, Escudero maintained he never left Roxas when he endorsed Binay in 2010. After all, he said he could only leave someone who had been with him.
"Bakit ba ang laging sinasabi bakit 'di ko sinuportahan si Secretary Roxas? Bakit ba si Secretary Roxas, bakit hindi si Senator Loren (Legarda) na dati kong kasama sa NPC [Nationalist People’s Coalition]? Eh 'di kami nagkasama sa partido (ni Roxas)," Escudero said in a media forum on Thursday, January 28.
(Why do they always ask why I didn't support Secretary Roxas? Why is it always Secretary Roxas, why not Senator Loren (Legarda), my former party-mate in the NPC? (Roxas and I) never became party-mates.)
Asked if he would do the same and leave Poe, Escudero said the Noy-Bi scenario in 2010 would not happen to their tandem.
"Hindi, dahil sa maraming bagay. Una ni hindi nga kami nagkasama para iwanan ko siya (Roxas). Sa relasyon sa pulitika o partido, pwede mo lang masabing iniwanan mo ang isang tao pag nagkasama kayo, ni hindi kami nagkasama para iwanan ko siya," Escudero said.
(No, because of many reasons. First, Roxas and I have never been together for me to leave him. In any relation in politics or parties, you can only say you left someone when you have been together. We haven't been together for me to leave him.)
‘Black propaganda’ vs Poe-Escudero
Rappler tried to reach Poe but to no avail. In the same January 28 forum, Poe reacted to Escudero’s possible support for another presidential bet and jokingly said: "Humanda siya sakin kung meron siyang gagawin na ganyan."
(He better be ready for me if he does something like that.)
In December at the height of Poe's disqualification, several of her supporters accused Escudero of being "Boy Laglag" (fair-weather ally) and "ahas" (snake).
Despite all the talk, Poe stands by her running mate. Escudero was FPJ’s spokesman in 2004 and also helped the relatively unknown Poe campaign during the 2013 senatorial elections.
The camp of Poe echoed this, adding the partnership is "rooted on friendship and mutual trust."
Poe’s spokesman, Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian, dismissed the Bi-Chiz stickers as "black propaganda" aimed to divide the "strongest tandem."
"Those stickers are products of ill-minded individuals who want to drive a wedge between senators Poe and Escudero. Their black propaganda drive started with attacking the person of Senator Poe, now it’s geared towards attacking the tandem," Gatchalian told Rappler.
Even with unrelenting issues, he maintained Poe and Escudero would campaign as a solid tandem and urged detractors to stop the dirty tactics.
“Our voters deserve better than the stunts they are pulling. One week from now senators Poe and Escudero will walk into the election cycle facing the electorate side by side. Walang maiiwanan (No one will be left behind)," he said. – Rappler.com
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