MANILA—Independent vice-presidential bet Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero on Sunday vowed a non-discriminating dispense of public service under the “Gobyernong may Puso” of his running mate, leading presidential contender Sen. Grace Poe.
Escudero said he and Poe chose white as their campaign color in accordance with their advocacy of equal opportunities for all sectors regardless of political leanings.
“Puti po ang pinili naming kulay ni Senator Grace dahil nais naming pantay ang paninilbihan, walang kulay-pulitika dapat sa serbisyo publiko, dahil ang kahirapan wala ‘yang pinipiling kulay,” Escudero said during the ABS-CBN vice-presidential debate.
Escudero was asked how he plans to protect the interests of Filipino families if elected in the May 9 elections.
“Ang pangangailangan at kalamidad, wala rin po ‘yang pinipili, kakilala man o hindi. Nais ko pong ipaglaban palagi kung ano ang tama, kakampi man o kalaban. Labanan palagi ang mali, kakampi man o kalaban,” he stressed.
The veteran lawmaker also reiterated his vow to never steal from public coffers if elected as the country’s second highest official.
“Papasok ako nang maaga. Tatapusin ko ang trabahong takda. Uunahin ko palagi ang interes ng mas nakararami at kailanman hindi ko po kayo pagnanakawan,” Escudero vowed.
Escudero, meanwhile, said there is no point in whining or bickering when there are serious problems facing the government, adding he fights worthy battles by doing his job in government well.
“Pinatunayan ko na sa madaming pagkakataon, palaban ako, lalo na kung katiwalian o kahirapan ang pag-uusapan,” Escudero said, responding to Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano’s accusation that he only stands up on issues when it is favorable to him.
“Hindi ko man inaway si Senator Marcos, ginawa ko naman ang trabaho ko para matiyak na hindi na maulit ang nangyari noong panahon nila,” he told Cayetano who has seized every opportunity to call out fellow vice-presidential candidate, Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
He went on to enumerate several laws that he authored, including key legislation to give justice to martial law victims.
Escudero authored and pushed for the Anti-Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance Act and Anti-Torture Act. He is also responsible for the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013, which does not only recognize the victims’ sacrifices but provides financial compensation proportionate to the gravity of the offense inflicted on them.
The veteran lawmaker reiterated his commitment to fight for what is just and right, regardless of who is involved.
“Napatunayan ko na rin ‘yan. Ninang ko sa kasal ko noon si GMA (Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo); in-impeach ko siya ng tatlong beses dahil ‘yon ang panawagan ng pagkakataon at ebidensya,” said Escudero, who led a group of congressmen that pushed for Arroyo’s impeachment.
“Ang ilang mga ninong ko rin, nagawan ko na rin ng desisyon at pasya kung saan iisa ang batayang sinunod ko: ang tama ay tama, ang mali ay mali. At kailanman, hindi ko po papayagan na ito ay mamagitan sa pagitan ko at ng aking trabaho at sinumpaang tungkulin sa atin pong mga kababayan ano mang puwesto ang aking pinanghahawakan,” he said.