MANILA—Independent presidential candidate Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero has assured Filipinos that he will not steal from the public coffers and will serve everyone equally, whether one is a political ally or not, if given the chance to become the second highest official of the country.
“Ipinapangako ko po na kailanman ay hindi ako magnanakaw dahil hindi ako ipinanganak at pinalaki ng aking mga magulang na magnakaw o maging magnanakaw,” Escudero said in his opening statement during the first and only vice presidential debate organized by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Manila on Sunday.
Escudero said the reason why he and his presidential running mate, Senator Grace Poe, chose white as their campaign color is to assure the people that government services and aid will be available and accessible to all.
“Ang pinili naming kulay ni Senator Grace ay puti dahil ayaw naming lagyan ng kulay-pulitika ang paninilbihan na nais naming ibigay sa ating mga kababayan. Dapat pantay, dapat parehas, dapat walang pinipili,” Escudero said.
The seasoned lawmaker said he wants to become vice president so he could serve the public, whether they voted for him or not.
“Ito’y nagawa at ginawa na namin noon kung saan binigyan namin ng tulong ang bawat munisipyo at bawat ospital, regional o provincial man, nang hindi kinikilala kung kapartido man o hindi ang nakaupo; nang hindi kinikilala kung sumuporta man o bumoto ang mga nakaupo doon,” said
Escudero, the frontrunner in the vice presidential race based on all pre-elections surveys, added: “Dapat ganyan din po ang serbisyo publiko—pantay at parehas—walang pinipili, walang kinikilingan, walang tinitingnan, walang tinititigan, parehas ang pagtrato. At bilang inyong ikalawang pangulo, nais po naming dalhin ang liderato sa opisina ng pangalawang pangulo.”
If elected vice president, Escudero said he would make sure he goes to work early every day to get everything done, and that he will always advance the interest of the majority and not of the few.
“Bilang inyong ikalawang pangulo, nais po naming dalhin ang liderato sa opisina ng pangalawang pangulo, liderato kung saan gigising po at papasok ako ng maaga,” Escudero told the crowd at the debate hosted by CNN Philippines in partnership with Rappler and BusinessMirror.
“Uunahin ko palagi ang interes ng mas nakararami at hindi lamang ng iilan. Tatapusin ko palagi ang takdang tungkulin sa bawat araw na ibibigay sa akin para pagsilbihan kayo,” he added.
Escudero rebutted Congresswoman Leni Robredo’s accusation that the Senate version of the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill was “demand driven.”
”I just want to clarify. I’m the primary author of FOI bill in the Senate and Senator Grace Poe is the sponsor. It is not true that it was a demand-driven. In fact, in our version, all transactions should be posted on internet,” Escudero explained.
Escudero said also part of the corruption is the use of the position to push their personal interest and it should be stopped out of “delicadeza.”