NAGA CITY—Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, normally accommodating to journalists, especially his fellow Bicolanos, made himself scarce here, barely answering questions on the controversies surrounding his relationship with actress Heart Evangelista.
While speaking before local Liberal Party (LP) candidates here, he only acknowledged that he was “at the center of a controversy” but did not talk about it.
He instead asked the party’s local candidates for their support despite the controversies he now faces.
Escudero, a front-runner in the senatorial race, arrived at the Naga City gymnasium ahead of President Aquino and his fellow candidates in Team PNoy and was conspicuously absent at the stage when the President came in.
He actually left the gym before President Aquino arrived at past 2 p.m., according to some local LP candidates present, when Escudero spoke briefly onstage at around 1 p.m.
At least 40 LP candidates from all over Camarines Sur gathered at the city gym on Friday for President Aquino’s official proclamation of local party bets.
Among the Team PNoy senatorial candidates who came with the President were Koko Pimentel, Ramon Magsaysay, Bam Aquino, Risa Hontiveros, Cynthia Villar, Grace Poe, Jamby Madrigal and Franklin Drilon.
Loren Legarda was represented by her son, Leandro Leviste, and Sonny Angara was represented by his mother, Gloria Angara.
They were also accompanied by Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala and Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya.
The President arrived in Naga City at 11 a.m. and squeezed in during the visit a brief stop at the grave of the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo at Eternal Gardens at Balatas Road here, had lunch at a hotel and led the groundbreaking of Jesse M. Robredo Museum, located at the civic center.
Leni Robredo, Jesse’s widow, is the LP’s congressional candidate for the third district of Camarines Sur and was among those who attended the proclamation rally.
Before going to Naga City, Poe, Magsaysay and Drilon planed in to Bagasbas Airport in Daet, Camarines Norte, at around 8:30 a.m. aboard a Beechraft 350 plane and were welcomed by Gov. Edgar Tallado.
Drilon proclaimed the local LP candidates in Camarines Norte for the congressional (two districts), provincial and municipal (12 towns) races.
In Camarines Sur, LP’s gubernatorial candidate, Anselmo Joel Cadiz, is running against four opponents. He does not have a vice governor and has only two candidates for board members in his ticket.
Running under the LP ticket for district representatives are Sabas Mabulo (second district), Leni Robredo (third district), Aga Muhlach (fourth district) and Salvio Fortuno (fifth district).
For provincial and district elective positions, the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) fielded the most candidates for the positions of governor, vice governor, board members and district representatives.
With 42 candidates vying for 17 elective positions in the provincial and the congressional districts of Camarines Sur, the NPC dominates with 14 candidates in the official list of the Commission on Elections.
The NPC fielded gubernatorial and vice gubernatorial bets, nine candidates for the 10 regular members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and three candidates for representatives in the third, fourth and fifth districts.