MANILA, Philippines – “Is that bad news?” was how Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero commented in jest when asked to react on the decision of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) to drop him and two other candidates from its slate.
While he said it was a big “loss” for him, Escudero said he had no choice but to respect UNA’s decision.
“Karapatan nila yun, rerespetuhin ko ano man ang desisyon meron sila subalit sa panig at parte ko bagaman malaking kawalan yun, wala akong magagawa kung yun ang nais nilang gawin,” Escudero said in an interview on radio Thursday, shortly after UNA made the announcement.
“Basta ako ipapagatuloy lang namin ang klase at uri ng pangangampanya na paniniwala namin ay dapat at napapanahon.”
“Hindi naman pwedeng diktahan ka sa bawat at hindi mo pwedeng gawin at sabihin sa kampanyahan pa lamang baka lalo na pag nasa pwesto ka na,” Escudero added.
And when the anchor said they would move on to a better topic, the senator commented in jest, “Ah bad news ba yun?”
Former MTRCB chairperson Grace Poe-Llamanzares, in a separate interview, expressed sadness over UNA’s decision although she insisted that no condition was imposed on her when she accepted UNA’s invitation to be part of its senatorial ticket.
“Syempre nakakalungkot kasi yung pagkaimbita naming sa akin o pagka-adopt naman sa akin sa UNA wala namang kondisyon sa pagkakatanda ko,” Llamanzares said.
She said it was former President Joseph Estrada, who was close to her late father Fernando Poe Jr, who had offered to help her in the campaign.
“Hindi naman nila ako sinabihan na ia-adopt ka namin pero kailangang magkampanya ka. Wala naman ganun,” she said.
Senator Loren Legarda, who was also dropped by UNA, has yet to comment.
Escudero, Poe and Legarda are all running under the administration’s Team Pnoy.