MANILA - Re-electionist senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero admitted being hurt by the United Nationalist Alliance’s (UNA) decision to drop him from its senatorial lineup for the May polls.
In an interview with ANC, Escudero said in Filipino he is “deeply hurt. This is a big loss, but I respect their decision. I can’t dictate on them.”
In a statement earlier today, UNA secretary general Toby Tiangco said they are no longer obligated to include Escudero, Senator Loren Legarda and former MTRCB chief Grace Poe from the list of candidates.
“We would have wanted and were looking forward to having them join our nine UNA candidates in our rallies and sorties,” Tiangco said.
He said not one of them has made any “concrete move or extended any meaningful gesture to assure us that they will live up to their commitments. On the contrary, public statements have been made by at least one of them ruling out participation in UNA events.”
Escudero said he has not given any commitments to UNA. Instead of just keeping quiet about it, “some members and leaders” decided to talk about their criticisms publicly, he said.
He also dismissed Tiangco’s allegation that Liberal Party leader Franklin Drilon has warned them of joining UNA’s activities.
“I can only speak for myself, that’s not true,” he said. Not even President Benigno Aquino III or anyone from Team PNoy has swayed him from joining the UNA sorties, he added.
He said he will not hold any grudges against UNA members or its leaders. “This is political. I consider them as my friends, they still have my respect. Time will heal any hard feelings.”