MANILA (Mabuhay) – Senator Francis Escudero may have supported Jejomar Binay’s vice-presidential campaign in 2010 but he did not support or even vote for Binay when he stayed on as mayor of Makati for nearly 20 years.
“I supported Vice President Binay for Vice President. I never supported or voted for him for mayor. Lahat ng nilalabas na alegasyon…ay ginawa niya diumano nang siya ay mayor ng Makati, not as vice president,” he said in a forum.
Binay was appointed OIC of Makati after the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution. He was elected mayor from 1988 to 1998 and again from 2001 to 2010 before he ran for vice-president.
He is currently facing various corruption allegations such as pocketing of kickbacks from overpriced building contracts as well as alleged ownership of large tracts of land in Batangas. Binay has denied the allegations.
Escudero, running mate of Sen. Grace Poe in the 2016 polls, has been criticized for supporting “NoyBi” or the separate campaigns of Liberal Party candidate Benigno Aquino III and Binay in 2010.
Both candidates won, with presidential candidate Joseph Estrada and vice-presidential candidate Mar Roxas ending up among the losers.
At the forum, Escudero said he does not know why Aquino and Roxas are not being criticized for supporting the 2004 presidential campaign of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who is now accused of plunder. Escudero supported the 2004 campaign of Poe’s father, actor Fernando Poe Jr, and even acted as campaign spokesman.
The senator said he decided not to support Binay’s presidential bid in 2016 after hearing the various corruption allegations hurled against him in the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee hearings.
“Tulad nating lahat, nababagabag at nagaalala kaya nga ho di ko syang sinusuportahan sa kanyang pagtakbo bilang Pangulo, dahil sabay sabay po nating nalaman at narinig nung lumabas lamang si [former vice-mayor Ernesto] Mercado na may ebidensya sa mga alegasyon laban sa kanya,” he said.
He also said he decided to support Grace Poe’s presidential bid because “she is the best person for the job.”
Escudero is a former congressman of Sorsogon’s 1st district where he served for nine years. He was elected senator in 2007. (MNS)