MANILA - Sorsogon governor and senatorial candidate Francis "Chiz" Escudero said he will decide whether to support President Rodrigo Duterte's senatorial bid based on the latter's opinion on the issue of Senate investigations.
According to Escudero, he will wait for Duterte's stand on whether he will allow the next president to do the same thing he did to the Senate as president, referring to Duterte barring the members of his Cabinet from attending Senate investigations.
"Bago ko siya iboto, nais kong marinig mula sa kanya, sa kanyang pagtakbo bilang senador, papayagan ba niyang gawin ng nakaupong presidente, sino man ang mananalo, ang ginawa ng kasalukuyang nakaupong presidente sa mga senador, na hindi pinapunta 'yung kaniyang gabinete, hindi pinagsalita, at pinapatigil ang anumang imbestigasyon ng Senado. Depende siguro sa tugon niya sa katanungang 'yan, magdedepende din kung ako ay boboto sa kanya o hindi," Escudero said on Tuesday's episode of Teleradyo's "Sino'ng SENyo" senatorial candidates interview.
(Before I vote for him, I want to hear from him, if he gets elected as senator, if he will allow the seating president, whoever will win, to do what the current president did to the senators, barring the members of the Cabinet from attending, and trying to stop Senate investigations. My vote will depend on his answer to that question.)
Back in October, Duterte ordered the members of his Cabinet to disregard the invitations from the Senate regarding their investigation on the allegedly anomalous deals the government had with Pharmally Pharmaceuticals Corp.
Before barring the Cabinet members, he also ordered the the country's police and military to "stay out" of the Senate probe.
Meanwhile, Escudero said he has also yet to decide on which presidential candidate he will support.
Escudero is currently in the senatorial line up of Vice President Leni Robredo and Senators Panfilo Lacson and Manny Pacquiao.
"Totoo 'yun subalit ang partidong kinabibilangan ko ang Nationalist People's Coalition ay wala pa pong ineendorsong pangulo o ikalawang pangulo. Bagama't tumatakbo si Senate President Sotto na miyembro ng NPC din para sa pagka-ikalawang pangulo. Aantayin ko po ang magiging kapasyahan ng partido dahil bahagi ng kapasyahan ng partido ay mag-endorso ng kandidato o hayaan ang kada miyembro ng partido na magpasya kung sino ang susuportahan nila," he said.
(That's true but my party, the Nationalist People's Coalition, has yet to endorse a president and vice president, although Senate President Sotto, who is also a member of NPC, is running for vice president. I will wait for the party's decision on whether it will endorse candidates or let its members decide on who to support.)
Escudero also explained that there is still enough time to decide on the issue.
"Porke't nakapagdesisyon na ang ibang tao hindi naman dapat pilitin magdesisyon na ang ibang tao na nag-iisip, nagninilay nilay pa, dahil sa totoo lang, wala pa namang gaanong platapormang inilalabas ang sinumang tumatakbo sa pagkapangulo sa ngayon. Sagot lamang sa mga tanong, sagot lamang sa mga ibinabatong kwestiyon ang kanilang sinasabi at hindi pa naman paglalahad ng plataporma kaugnay ng gagawin nila kung sila ang bibigyang tiwala ng mas marami nating kababayang manilbihan bilang pangulo natin," he explained.
(Not just because people have already decided, they will force others who have yet to decide, because in reality, the candidates have not yet laid out their platforms completely. They are just responding to issues, and they have yet to lay down their plans if they get elected as presidents.)