Ni: Rich Andrew M. Reyes
Isa sa inaasahang tatakbo sa darating na eleksyon ay si Senador Francis Joseph “Chiz” Guevara Escudero.
Malakas ang hatak nito sa mga kabataan. Dahil na rin sa prayoridad nito ay mga proyektong pangkabataan. Kahit na hindi pa malaman kung tatakbo ito sa darating na eleksyon, inaasahan na siya ng bansa para tumakbo sa posisyon. Umuugong rin ang balitang inaanyayahan ito ni Senador Loren Legarda upang maging Bise-Presidente nito sa darating na halalan. Pero hindi pa tiyak kung tatanggapin niya ito o hindi. Gayunpaman, kung hindi man ito makakatakbo bilang pangulo ng bansa sa darating na eleksyon ay nais nais nitong makapareha si Senador Legarda sa darating na eleksyon.
Sinasabing si Escudero ang pinakabatang kandidato sa pagkapangulo na tatakbo. He is not old enough yet to run for president under Philippines’ laws, but Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero will be by next year, when he hopes to become the country’s youngest-ever leader.
Escudero, who turns 40 in October, is frequently compared with U.S. President Barack Obama due to his charisma and eloquence and has consistently ranked among the top 5 in surveys of candidates for 2010 presidential polls in the Philippines.
The first time senator, a lawyer, says he is flattered by the Obama comparison but isn’t ready to announce his candidacy yet.
“I am not saying I won’t, I’m not saying I will. All I am saying is that the decision will have to made when I’m fully qualified,” Escudero said in an interview on Monday at his home in a Manila suburb, while his one-year-old twins played about him.
“It would be historic, if at all, not only on the part of our country, not only on the part of our generation, but also in so far as I am concerned,” he said.
Elections are still some 16 months away, but Manila’s political class is already readying for the polls, with a clutch of leading political figures, mostly senators, considering their chances.
Escudero, who got his nickname from the local equivalent of the Cheetos snack food, estimates slightly more than 50 percent of the country’s voting population by 2010 would be 40 years old and below, his own definition of young voters.
“I would want to see a young leader in 2010. Someone that embodies the generation to which the majority of Filipinos belong to right now,” he said.
Samantala, tinaggihan nito ang alok ni Senador Manny Villar na maging bise nito sa darating na eleksyon. Opposition senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero on Friday rejected a team-up with Senator Manuel Villar, Jr. even as the latest Social Weather Station (SWS) survey shows a likely win for them if presidential elections are held today.
“Impossible. It will never happen. I stand for good governance,” the 39-year old lawmaker said.
“Given what I have seen and read about the allegations raised in the C5 controversy, it seems to be just the tip of the iceberg. I cannot in good conscience run with or under him,” said Escudero.
Villar has refused to attend the hearings by the Senate on allegations raised by Senator Jamby Madrigal in October last year that his real estate empire benefited from the diversion of the C5 road extension project.
Instead, the billionaire senator has launched an aggressive media campaign to deny the charges, claiming that the allegations are meant to undermine his bid for the presidency.
“If the charges are false, then there is still time for Senator Villar to present his side before his peers in the Senate,” Escudero said.