By Eldie Aguirre, Orlando Dinoy
First Posted 16:50:00 01/31/2009
Philippine Daily Inquirer
DIGOS CITY, Davao Del Sur -- Senator Francis Escudero on Friday said the Philippines needs a man like Barack Obama so that Filipinos could dig themselves out of their difficult situation, even as he announced anew his intention to run for president in 2010.
"I am running because we need a leader that can provide solutions to the unemployment problem, the clamor of teachers for higher salaries and [I am] a man that could address the issue on hunger and poverty," he told reporters here.
Escudero said what the country needs is a leader who has a vision similar to that of the first black American president.
He said he was not comparing himself to Obama but that he believed he could be a good president with the help of the people, especially the youth.
"The problems of the Philippines must be solved by Filipinos. Empowering the youth sector of the society is essential in pushing this nation toward national recovery," he said.
Escudero also said his age should not be an issue in the presidential race.
The senator, popularly known as Chiz, will turn 40 in October.
"They say I'm still very young to lead the country but I believe that is not a good argument," he said.
He the minimum age requirement provided for in the Constitution for presidential candidates is 40.
"As long as that person is a natural-born citizen, lives in the country, a registered voter, and is able to read and write, he is qualified to run," Escudero said.
He said he was confident that the Nationalist People's Coalition would pick him as standard bearer.
Asked if he already had a running mate in mind, Escudero said he was not certain yet as to who it will be.
Asked about Senator Loren Legarda's intention to also seek the presidency, Escudero said "of course, I respect the decision of Senator Loren Legarda."
"But I have my trust in the Nationalist Peoples Coalition," he added.
Escudero said aside from addressing the problems of unemployment and poverty, his administration will deal with corruption severely.
He said in the case of government projects for example, corruption can be eliminated if baseline information about a particular undertaking would be displayed instead of putting the image of the president there.
"Overpricing could be detected easily since a curious individual could always compare the contract price of a local project with the quoted price of another project with identical specifications in neighboring barangays (villages)," he said.
As this developed, the daughter of the late actor Fernando Poe Jr. also announced her intention to run for senator in 2010.
Grace Poe said she was running so that she could push her father's plans for the country.