The Scuderoo Factor in Grace’s Trajectory: Plus or Minus? 1

The Scuderoo Factor in Grace’s Trajectory: Plus or Minus?

By Tomas Gomez III

Posted at Jul 15 2015 11:23 AM | Updated as of Jul 15 2015 07:23 PM

The recent prominence of Senator Francisco "Chiz" Escudero in political matters that concern the future of Senator Grace Poe invites critical comment. Good people do notice, you know. And it does not seem to look good. For Chiz. And for Grace, too, if she is unable to shake off the Scuderoo!

The Scuderoo Factor in Grace’s Trajectory: Plus or Minus? 2

This boy is bright. Attractive and articulate. A solid educational background----a UP lawyer! A well-studied photo-telegenic smile and posture. He garners an expanding hands-on political experience, both for good and for bad.

He has self-confidence. Cocky self-confidence, that is. Of recent memory, a high society wedding celebration (his second), a paradise isle reception with glitter and prominence, genuine, ersatz and some, acquired and climbed. Chutzpah, definitely, which has begun to exibit amoral tendencies if not an inured bent. He has developed and is already in possession of a coldly calculating and ambitious streak. It is widely known. It is an inevitable reputation. Were Mayor Arsenio Lacson still on earth, would he have found another neck to hang around the enduring epithet “so young and so corrupt?”

Perhaps the most astute and successful businessman-politician the country has produced is tycoon Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, in whose stable - the Nationalist People’s Coalition - the young Scuderoo Chiz was once an acolyte. His sustenance, in fact, as political infant starting out on his chosen career’s baby steps, was provided by Danding and NPC. It is noteworthy to recall that in late 2009 Chiz, barely 40 years old, was actively pursuing his political ambition to become President hoping that Danding would find in him a viable and worthwhile candidate to promote and fund during the 2010 elections. Evidently, the NPC Chairman Emeritus thought otherwise. Wisely!

Failing to get his ambitions bankrolled, da Chiz harrumphed and press-conned his breakaway from Danding. A compliant media acceded to the slant provided by the Scuderoo press handouts: "Escudero junks NPC, Cojuangco." Many elders did say: "Some gratitude!" But that’s OK. Danding does not suffer ingrates.

Chiz, obviously dejected and hurting was now nebulous about his earlier salivation for the Presidency. He claimed that he could fulfill his role that he is bound to play in connection with the elections, "not as a member of any party or a companion of any person," but "just as me!" And wtf was the role that Mr. "just as me" wanted to fulfill? He engineered the victory of a moral dwarf to spite Mar Roxas, whose ascendancy would skew his presidential calculations. Mar Roxas stood as a formidable obstacle to Chiz’s ambitions. As far as Chiz was concerned Mar had to be destroyed because becoming PNoy’s Vice President would place Mar Roxas in closer proximity to the Presidency, automatically casting astray the Scuderoo schedule.

There are several factors that contributed to the demise of Roxas' vice presidential run in 2010 but there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Chiz contributed more vastly than others. It is known in knowledgeable political circles that he volunteered his well-oiled media machinery and pool of seasoned political gofers to assist the Noynoy Aquino Presidential campaign efforts (instead of his own which has now been scuttled because of Danding’s refusal to waste a peso on him) with a sub-rosa "buy one-take two" proposition. It was a surreptitious agenda truly pushing for Jejomar Binay. Certainly not for the love of Jojo’s stature and complexion but to spite Mar Roxas. The bothersome mess attending the Binay ascendancy to a still potentially formidable Presidential candidacy is a crown that Senator Escudero must wear, whether he relishes it or not. Incidentally, has anyone ever heard of a comment from da Chiz regarding L’Affaire Binay?

It is quite evident that with the Scuderoo Chiz attempting to hitchhike with the fast rising political star of fellow Senator Grace Poe, the latter could possibly suffer an aberration in her stellar trajectory. In an earlier blog, we had the opportunity to cite Senator Grace Poe for the tremendous amount of promise that political fortune has showered her with this early. I did unsolicitedly recommend that she take advantage of the propitious time available to prepare for the inevitability of her Presidency by 2022, if she were to postpone responding to the wiles of popularity poll siren songs, when she will only be 54 and her youngest child already 16. My opinion and conclusion have not changed although it is indeed very possible that a sweeting talking Scuderoo may be providing very self-serving temptations.

Wedding as political networking and a “PAC”

Normally, weddings and receptions are personal affairs with family, kin and friends. The memorable nuptials of Francisco Escudero and Heart Evangelista on Balesin island is beyond normal. But they are celebrities, after all. Thus it becomes open season for tattle-tales and commentary when you organize your life’s launching pad, even if it is the second time around, and design your bethrothal playbook not only as a media extravaganza but organize it as well as a veritable “political action committee” event. It is very obvious that the affair was hyped, calculated for sheer exposure mileage, plus, plus!

It will not be too long a wait until muckrakers begin to dig the truth about Chiz’s wedding (Heart Evangelista’s parents did not want to have anything to do with the marriage, at the time) and his financial capability to have mounted such an opulent and ostentatious display of luxury with a financially-challenged pocketbook. His legally reported Statement of Assets, Liability and Networth attests to a monetary limitation that is severely overwhelmed many times over by the total cost of an ego-trip!

The presence of wedding sponsors coming from the political and movie/media industries is easy to understand. But Hans Sy of the Henry Sy fortune, Ramon Ang of San Miguel, Fernando Zobel of the Ayalas, Andrew Tan of MegaWorld, Lance Gokongwei as sponsors?

There has to be reasons for the inability of a polite no to have prevailed. Insurance, just in case?

There, too, were Jerry Acuzar and Bobby Ongpin, also as sponsors. Their presence may be easier to explain and to be understood, if you are hep on current events and political gossip. Perhaps, PNoy could not say no to Chiz’s plea for him to be best-man, although only to be in-absentia at the last minute. Perhaps the President smelled something unwelcome. Staying away and keeping distance was a smart move!

Truly, this business of matrimonial and baptismal compadrazgo in Roman Catholic Philippines is a much abused religious ritual. Has it become a parody? Farcical it might be but the reality is such celebrations are a well-practiced social plan for political networking. That is also when rent-seeking webs are first spun.

Who would you rather trust: a second-hand car salesman or a politician who uses his wedding as a fundraising classic and network expansion?


The Grit of Grace.

Grace’s grit, as it stands under present circumstances, ought to be telling her that there is much much more to running for the Presidency than sheer popularity in political polls, especially as its source is a universe of respondents with candid but undiscerning answers. Don’t we remember the great Dolphy whose wisdom is always a useful waker-upper. Perceived to be a sure win if he were to take a stab at politics by running for a seat in the Senate, his classic response as he politely declines is: “What if I win!” An alluring fruit, low-lying it might be, picked unripe, is wasteful consumption and unwise.


Amoral precocity.

There is a little known anecdote about the young Chiz as a recent law graduate on his way to the US for his postgraduate studies.

Before leaving, he wanted gainful employment in a government agency which was once under his father’s jurisdiction as martial law Minister of Agriculture. His Dad, Salvador “Sonny” Escudero was already an opposition Congressman in the mid-1900s. Well recommended, Chiz would have gotten the job, after all there was an unfilled vacancy and he was qualified having just passed the bar exams. Wisely and fortunately for the government, the administrators of the agency did not approve the employment. Chiz did not get the job. He had the gall to want to keep the job, continue receiving his compensation while he was abroad in the US furthering his studies.


There is no doubt that the Scuderoo is aggressively whispering, sweet-talking Grace into making a run for the Presidency now with him at her coattails as Vice President. Grace’s grit would be enhanced if she were to first seek counsel from the political oracle that is Danding Cojuangco.

There is much to distrust about Senator Francisco “Chiz” Escudero. Mayor Lacson peering through his Ray-bans from above the clouds is knowingly shaking his head! There is indeed an ethical difference between nursing ambitions and being ambitious.

Chiz just has too much ‘cheek’ for moral comfort. Chiz will put to an early test Grace’s grit and moral judgment.

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.