'I am independent,' says UNA guest candidate
MANILA -- Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero on Wednesday emphasized that he is an independent candidate, and no party can ever dictate what he can do or cannot do during the campaign season.
He said that while he remains thankful that both Team PNoy and the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) have included him in their senatorial slates, he still cannot be dictated upon by anyone from both parties.
Escudero's statement comes after UNA stalwart Vice President Jejomar Binay said UNA may drop their guest candidates from their senatorial ticket if they continue to snub the party's campaign sorties.
"Independent ako at wala akong finile-an o sinamahan na partido nitong eleksyon," Escudero told ANC.
"Kinuha ako ng LP [Liberal Party] at UNA bilang guest candidate at nagpapasalamat ako dun. Pero hindi nangangahulugan na pwede akong diktahan o sabihan kung ano ang dapat at hindi ko dapat gawin," he added.
However, he said he has no ill feelings towards UNA even if his tarpaulin was removed from the stage before the proclamation rally in Cebu on Tuesday.
"Wala akong sama ng loob o alinlangan sa kaugnay sa pagbaba nila ng poster ko sa Cebu o anumang magiging pasya nila dahil desisyon nila yun," he said.
The re-electionist senator also answered UNA senatorial candidate Juan Miguel Zubiri's statement that he should have sent someone as his representative to the rally as a sign of goodwill to the party.
“Sana pinadala niya si Heart [Evangelista] para bongga," Zubiri joked.
Escudero said he has no intentions of involving his girlfriend in his campaigns.
He also said that unlike Legarda, who sent her father Tony, and Poe, who was represented by her son Brian, he had no one to send as his representative.
"Sinabi ko na 'yan simula pa lang na 'yung kampanya ko ay hiwalay sa anumang personal na relasyon na meron ako."
"'Di tulad ni Loren, wala naman akong tatay, 'di tulad ni Grace wala naman akong anak na pwedeng magsalita. At 'di ko naman talaga ugali na payagang manghimasok, makialam at sumali sa aking kandidatura ang mga miyembro ng pamilya," Escudero said.
'I will definitely join UNA sorties'
Still, Escudero is confident that he will be able to attend UNA's campaign sorties.
"I'm sure it will happen. It will definitely happen. Sa 90-day campaign palagi kaming magkikita at magkakasama-sama... Mangyayari't mangyayari 'yun," he said.
He also said that it was only coincidental that he was in Lipa City on Wednesday where Team PNoy was scheduled to hold its sortie.
He said he was there not to attend the sortie but a forum at Lipa City Colleges.
Escudero also said that he has no plans of campaigning tomorrow in order to celebrate Valentine's Day, which is also the birthday of his girlfriend.
"Bukas wala akong balak na samahan ang kahit anong grupo dahil Valentine's bukas eh. Siguro naman pwede magpahinga muna at 'di muna haluan ng pulitika ang araw na 'yun," he said.