CEBU CITY, Philippines – Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero shrugged off a text message being circulated linking him to rice smuggling in the country, saying he would not lose sleep over it.
The text message that circulated last week claimed that Escudero was involved in multi-million peso rice smuggling in Subic.
But Escudero said he was no longer surprised by this, saying that black propaganda has become part of politics, especially when there is an upcoming election.
“It’s not that I have no idea [who was/were behind this] but I really don’t want to care. I will not lose sleep over it,” he told Manila-based reporters after attending a sortie here over the weekend.
“Gawin nila gusto nilang gawin, buo ang tiwala ko sa botante kaugnay sa katotohanan na nalalaman nila at katotohanan na ginagawa talaga naman naming tapat na paninilbihan. At least ako nakakatulog sa gabi. Ewan ko sa kanila sa paninira nila kung nakakatulog sila sa gabi [They can do what they want to do. I have full confidence that the voters know the truth and the truth about the services that we do for them. At least I can sleep at night. I don’t know if, after this black propaganda, they can still sleep at night],” he said.
Asked if he would just then let this thing pass, Escudero said it was not a question of letting it pass, but instead not wasting his time to investigate and find out the people behind this.
“I don’t think it will make a dent insofar as what the people think of us and my confidence and faith in the people, if they can decipher on this case which is true and what’s not,” he said.
“Again, hindi na ako mag iimbestiga. Sayang naman. Mangangampanya na lang kami. Kung sila nag aaksaya na panahon para manira ng kandidato, kami hindi. Hayaan mo na sila, at least napupuyat sila. Siguro hindi sila makatulog. [I will not investigate. It’s just a waste of time. We’ll just campaign. If they’re wasting their time destroying candidates, then we’re not. Let them be. Let them lose sleeps over it],” Escudero added.
The senator also distanced himself from the issue that he had something to do with the appointment of then former National Food Authority administrator Angelito Banayo though he admits that they are friends.
Banayo stepped down in August 2012, supposedly to run for congressman in his home district in Agusan del Norte, but he later withdrew from the race.
“Matagal ng sinisisi sa akin yun. Pero hindi totoo yun. [I’ve been being blamed for his appointment but that’s not true]. It was the President’s decision to appoint him in that position. In fact, ni hindi namin sya nirekomenda para sa position na yun [we never recommended him for that position] and the President can vouch for that,” Escudero said.