Escudero shrugs off survey decline


Erstwhile leading vice-presidential candidate Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero doesn't mind his recent decline in the surveys because he believes that what matters are the votes come election day.

"Ang importante sa pag-ikot ng gulong sino ang nasa taas sa araw ng eleksyon," he said on Headstart on Monday.

Their camp, he added, gives more premium on the surveys that rank he and running mate Sen. Grace Poe lower.

Both he and Poe held the top position months in the early days of the campaign, but are placed at third and second respectively in the recent ABS-CBN-commissioned Pulse Asia survey.

READ: Duterte, Marcos sustain leads in ABS-CBN survey

He maintained that though he believes in the truth of the surveys, they "have been known also to change and shift in a matter of days" and that 20% of the voting population will make their decision on election day itself.

Escudero, for his part, said it's not a messaging problem; it's the ability to get it across to their constituents.

"I think all of the candidates have good messages—I think each one has their own respective corner or place under the sun that they want to focus on. It’s a matter of enabling that message to come across," said Escudero.

But he noted that this election did not see candidates vying for voters' attention via advertisements, but through news inclusions.

"Kung tignan mo yung advertisement ng mga kandidato, it’s flat. Walang nakapag-advertise na nag-breakaway...It’s all about news and all about soundbites. It’s all about your footprint in the news and recall being given to the voters," he said.


The vice-presidential candidates faced off in two debates where Sen. Bongbong Marcos got most of the beating.

Escudero, however, wasn't as active in lashing out on Marcos as Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo or Senator Alan Peter Cayetano.

"For you to fight for something, are you sure you’re fighting that something because of your own personal interest or is it because you’re really fighting for an issue?," he said.

"Yung ibang tumitira sa kanya, yung ibang inaatake siya ngayon, wala namang ginawa kaugnay sa mga bagay na yun. Pero syempre, panahon ng kampanya 'yan, e di titira sila," he added.

Escudero instead highlighted the laws that he has authored that he said were intended to ensure that the Marcos martial rule will not happen again. He enumerated the Anti-torture Law, Anti-involuntary Disappearance Law, and the Marcos compensation for human rights victims.

He also clarified that his stance was in no way affected by his father, late Rep. Salvador Escudero III, who was known to be an ally of the Marcoses.

"My father has passed and my father has always respected my own personal views with respect to politics," he said.

Escudero added that while his father filed for a motion in the lower house to have former president Ferdinand Marcos buried in Libingan ng mga Bayani, he did not support the bill in the Senate where he was a legislator.

He also maintained that if the Marcos family was really interested in having the late dictator buried there, "they could have done something in the past 20 years. They have not."

He also believes that if the younger Marcos ascends to presidency, the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) will be shut down.

"Perhaps if he becomes president, that will happen—they will shut down PCGG because PCGG was created solely to run after the Marcos ill-gotten wealth. It’s not yet over; the fight is not yet over," he said.

Although Escudero echoed the sentiments of Robredo and Sen. Serge OsmeƱa that the Philippines would be the laughingstock of the world if Marcos were to be elected vice-president, he said it's still the Filipino people who will choose their leaders.

"Yes, because of the history they know of [we will be the laughingstock]. Unfortunately, it’s the Filipinos who will get to choose. Whatever the world says, doesn’t so much matter as what the Filipinos say or will say."