‘Chiz’ confirms 2022 Senate run; wants more autonomy for LGUs
MANILA, Philippines — Former Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero has confirmed he will seek a return to the Senate in the 2022 elections under the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC).
“I confirm Senate President Tito Sotto’s statement that I do plan to run for the Senate. I do plan to place my name once again in the ballot for the Senate in the hope that I will be able to do my part in helping our country recover from this pandemic after this administration,” Escudero said in an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel on Tuesday.
The former senator, who is currently the governor of Sorsogon, said he hopes to bring his experience in local governance in strengthening legislation that will give local government units (LGUs) more autonomy and measures to help the country recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Legislating and executing laws are two different things,” he noted.
He then pointed to the frustration he said is shared by many LGU chief executives across the country on deciding for themselves which measures are best to be implemented in their localities.
“In fact if there would be one platform that should be brought, that would be to enable the local government units to decide for themselves more freely because quite frankly they know, we know better what we need than any armchair secretary or undersecretary simply holding office in an air-conditioned building in Metro Manila,” he said.
“I hope they will hear them out more often. I hope they will give them more leeway so far deciding for themselves. Whether we have a pandemic or not, I think they should give credit where credit is due because local government officials have been doing a very good job. Fairly good job actually at the local level in their respective provinces and cities,” he added.
Escudero served as senator from 2007 to 2019. He was also a previous member of the House of Representatives from 1998 to 2007, representing the first district of Sorsogon.
The former senator ran for the vice presidency in 2016 alongside Senator Grace Poe as his running mate. He ended fourth in the vice presidential race.
He then ran for the gubernatorial post in Sorsogon in the 2019 elections and won.
Despite a recent Pulse Asia survey which showed that he is among the most preferred vice presidential bets for 2022, Escudero said there is no reason to be complacent since “numbers will change.”
“There are 10 reelectionists unless they are running for higher office and you’re looking at eight to 12 former senators who intend to go back to the Senate, and about five to eight Cabinet secretaries, incumbent secretaries who intend to run as well. We are not even counting showbiz and other known personalities,” he went on.
“The starting numbers that you will see, you will have to see some time in January or February. That’s when the starting gun in so far the real numbers are concerned for the upcoming elections,” he added.
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