What lies ahead for Governor Chiz Escudero
MANILA, Philippines — If he is no longer a senator, would he still get prompt answers to his phone calls?
Getting a return call an hour or even weeks after is just one reality that outgoing Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero has prepared himself for once he drops the title “senator” after June 30.
After 12 years, Escudero will leave the Senate to assume a new post – governor of his home province Sorsogon.
“Nasa kahon na lahat ng gamit ko,” he said during the weekly Kapihan sa Senado on Thursday.
Escudero believes that the task ahead is “more difficult.”
“In the Senate, inaasikaso mo lang dalawang komite mo isang komite depende kung ilan ang binigay sa’yo. Ang departamento sa aming lalawigan ay 35,” he said.
“So mas maraming tao, mas maraming departamento, mas maraming gawain, mas maraming trabaho,” he added.
And his being a senator is not an assurance that he could easily get funding for his constituents, Escudero admitted.
“Kasi sabi nga nila pag nag retiro ka, kinabukasan iba na ang trato sa’yo. Ano man ang pwestong hinawakan noon – parang Pangulo na nag-retiro; iba pa rin ang saludo ‘pag nakaupo ka, iba na ‘yung saludo pagka bumaba ka na,” he noted.
“‘Yung pagsagot sa tawag na lang. Iba ‘pag nakaupo ka, iba ‘pag wala ka na. Kung dati, ‘pag tawag mo sinasagot ka agad, pagkatapos ng pwesto mo hindi ka sasagutin o sasagutin ka makalipas ng isang oras o magre-return call pagkatapos ng dalawang linggo.”
However, he is no stranger to this.
Escudero recalled how their house was filled with visitors and gifts before the first Edsa revolution. But all of these suddenly disappeared after the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos was ousted via people power revolt in 1986.
His father, the late Sorsogon Rep. Salvador “Sonny” Escudero, was Marcos’ minister of food and agriculture.
Despite this, Chiz Escudero believes that some things would not change – like his friendship with some senators, including Grace Poe.
Before his first run in the Senate, he served as spokesman of Poe’s father, the late actor Fernando Poe Jr., who ran but lost in the 2004 presidential race.
He also accompanied Senator Poe when she first ran and topped the senatorial race in 2013.
In 2016, Senator Poe ran for president and Chiz Escudero was her vice president. Both lost in the said elections.
“Isa siguro si Senator Grace sa mami-miss ko rin dito pero walang dahilan para hindi kami magkita sa labas ng Senado dahil sa loob o labas man ng Senado ay magkaibigan kami,” the outgoing senator said.
“Hindi ko masasabi ‘yan sa lahat pero isa siguro s’ya sa iilan na mananatiling kaibigan… at magkikita sa labas maski na walang dahilan,” he added.
At present, the new Sorsogon governor said he could not say yet whether or not he could still return to the Senate in the near future. (Editor: Katherine G. Adraneda)
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