Escudero has edge in VP fight, says his mom
With possibly four Bicolanos battling it out for the vice presidency in 2016, any advantage—no matter how small—counts.
So Sorsogon Rep. Evelina Escudero might only be half-joking when she cited her son Sen. Francis Escudero’s edge over his rivals: He has “a beautiful wife and mother,” she said, but quickly added that the senator, who married TV and movie star Heart Evangelista early this year, also had another thing going for him.
Of four prospective running mates from Bicol, only Escudero had studied international law abroad, his mother said, adding that it was definitely an advantage.
The senator finished law at the University of the Philippines, and obtained a master’s degree in international and comparative law at Georgetown Law Center in Washington in 1996.
Aside from Escudero, who announced last week his intention to seek the vice presidency as Sen. Grace Poe’s running mate, the names of three other politicians from the vote-rich Bicol province have been floated as possible contenders.
Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, whose Gerona family hails from Bulan, Sorsogon province, has been offered the post by the Liberal Party standard-bearer, Mar Roxas.
Sorsogon native Sen. Gregorio Honasan II has been listed as one of three being considered running mate to Vice President Jejomar Binay of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
No to ‘Bi-Hon’
Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, who also hails from Sorsogon, made known as well his interest in the Vice President’s post.
Both Robredo and Honasan have expressed reluctance to run for higher office in 2016, with Robredo citing her inexperience, low public awareness rating and the objections of her children.
Even so, Honasan said he’d rather stay in the background as UNA vice president and help Binay in his presidential campaign than be drafted in a ticket to be called Bi-Hon, a play on the two politicians’ names that sounds like a noodle dish.
Representative Escudero said she was happy that many Bicolanos were being considered for the vice presidency, adding that “Bicolanos are mature enough to choose their own candidate.”
She could not say who her son’s biggest rival was, but the congresswoman said Senator Escudero was the front-runner at this point “according to surveys.”’
But she acknowledged that “at the end of the day, we cannot tell who’d be (leading).
Never lost an election
“Let’s wait until the day of the election (to see) who will make it,” she said.
The congresswoman noted that her son—and all members of the Escudero clan—had never lost an election.
Speaking in the same forum, Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr., who recently jumped to the Nationalist People’s Coalition and expressed support for the Poe-Escudero tandem, said the 2016 elections provided an opportunity for Bicolanos to show political maturity.
“There’s block voting, but not because they’re Bicolanos. It’s automatic,” he said. “(Bicolano voters) should also look at the qualifications (and) we welcome that,” he said.
“Let’s not forget that Bicol (accounts for at least) 5 percent of the total voting population. So, it can make a difference,” Andaya said.
According to Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesperson James Jimenez, at least 52 million voters signed up to participate in the 2013 midterm polls, a significant increase over the 50 million voters who registered in 2010.
The Philippine Standard Geographic Code puts the number of registered voters in the Bicol region for the 2010 elections at 2.8 million, more than half of its total population of 5.4 million.
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