Senator Francis Escudero on Monday explained his decision to run alongside Senator Grace Poe in the 2016 national elections even though he supported another presidential contender, Vice President Jejomar Binay, in 2010.
At the vice presidential forum in the University of the Philippines Diliman, Escudero explained that becoming the Vice President’s running mate was “not logical.”
Escudero said he was unsettled by Binay’s silence in the face of the corruption allegations made against him since last year.
“Pagkatapos mong marinig ang lahat ng mga alegasyon sa Senado— bagamt di ako ang isa sa mga nagdidiin sa kanya— at matapos na di niya masagot o sinasagot ang mga alegasyon na ‘yun, paano ko siya susuportahan bagama’t sinuportahan ko siya noong nakaraang eleksyon?” Escudero said.
The senator said he only came to know about the allegations of wrongdoing against the Vice President when evidence began surfacing and witnesses started appearing before the Senate.
“Sabay-sabay nating nalaman [ang mga alegasyon laban kay Binay] noong may mga testigo na sa Senado. Bago noon, marami nang naririnig, pero tulad ng ibang pulitiko, marami kang naririnig dahil nasa pulitika ka. Pero noong may lumabas nang ebidensya at di niya sinasagot hanggang ngayon, tulad ng marami sa ating mga kababayan paano mo pa naman magagawang suportahan siya?” he asked.
“Sa puntong ito na hanggang ngayon, nananahimik pa rin siya sa isyung napakaliwanag na totoo ba o hindi [ang sagot]… Ang kanyang pananahimik ay nagbibigay ng ibang konklusyon para sa marami sa atin, kabilang na ako doon,” the senator added.
In 2010, Escudero chose to endorse Binay for vice president rather than then-Senator Benigno Aquino III's running mate, Senator Manuel “Mar” Roxas II.
Prior to Binay’s refusal to answer the allegations against him, Escudero recalled that the Vice President decided to drop him, Poe and Senator Loren Legarda from the United Nationalist Alliance’s roster of senatorial candidates during the 2013 elections because they were also adopted by the Liberal Party.
“Ayaw ata niyang may kahati sa [lineup] niya,” the senator said of Binay.
Escudero also revealed that he had rarely talked to Binay after publicly backing him in the 2010 polls. They did have a few conversations but these had been limited to pleasantries during social gatherings. — DVM, GMA News