And so Cassandra sayeth: My friend Chiz Escudero will announce on his 40th birthday on October 10, 2009, that he is, indeed, running for President of the Philippines in the May 2010 elections.
And as the ye olde Americans would put it, damn the torpedoes, but whether you like him or not, Chiz will run a strong and phenomenal campaign focused on the young.
Chizbama na ito!
By Ben Serrano
The Philippine STAR
BUTUAN CITY – Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero said Charter change to extend the term of President Arroyo is already dead as far as the Senate is concerned and the presidential elections in 2010 would take place.
Escudero hinted that seven politicians, mostly from the opposition, would seek the presidency.
But if former President Joseph Estrada succeeds in his unity talks among the opposition, “then it will be narrowed down to two,” he said.
Malacañang said that it sees no reason why the 2010 national elections would not push through, adding that it had nothing to do with the efforts to amend the Constitution.
“The President has always been focused on the economy and planning how to help the people,” Presidential Management Staff Director General Cerge Remonde told radio station dzRB.
Escudero, meanwhile, asked Estrada to identify first who among the present crop of opposition leaders are genuine oppositionists before embarking into unity talks with them.
In a news conference in Surigao City, Escudero said it is important for Estrada to identify who among the current list of presidential hopefuls really belong to the opposition.
He was reacting to Estrada’s statement that he would be forced to seek the presidency in 2010 if the opposition fails to come up with a unified standard bearer.
Escudero refused to confirm if he would join the race, saying he would make a decision when he reaches the required age of 40 on Oct. 10, 2009.
As of now, Escudero said he is not yet qualified to run for president, but would make an announcement on his 40th birthday whether he would run for president or vice president.
He said though he really wants to run while he is young so that he would not be likened to an old, mature and traditional politician “who entered politics like a lamb but retired with seven horns.”
“I like to run now because if I wait until I’m older like them then I would be no different from a trapo (traditional politician),” Escudero said in Filipino.
Escudero, however, hinted that he finds it uncomfortable running, if ever, with Sen. Loren Legarda who he said is not “so opposition” because she was an administration bet in her first election to the Senate.
He said Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay of the United Opposition (UNO), who has signified his intention to seek the presidency in 2010, is the real opposition but would not make a good copycat of US President-elect Barack Obama.
“If the US elected a young president, why can’t the Philippines?” he asked.
He, however, noted the disparity between American and Filipino voters especially in terms of contributing funds to a political campaign.
Escudero said with the exception of Binay and himself, who were with the opposition from the start, other presidentiables who are in the opposition are not genuine.
He said many would like to run under the opposition banner in the 2010 elections because they would have a stronger chance of winning due to the negative popularity rating of President Arroyo.