Escudero confirms Senate comeback under NPC

Escudero confirms Senate comeback under NPC

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — Former senator and now Sorsogon Governor Francis “Chiz” Escudero on
Wednesday confirmed that he would seek a fresh mandate in the 2022
senatorial elections under the National People’s Coalition.

In a statement, Escudero hoped to bring his experience in local
governance in strengthening legislation that will give local
government units (LGUs) more autonomy and help the country rise from
the pandemic.

“I confirm Senate President Tito Sotto’s statement that I do plan to
run for the Senate. I do plan to place my name once again in the
ballot for the Senate in the hope that I will be able to do my part in
helping our country recover from this pandemic after this
administration,” Escudero said in an interview.

Escudero was senator from 2007 to 2019 and then ran and won the last
elections to become the governor of the province of Sorsogon. He also
served as member of the House of Representatives from 1998 to 2007,
representing the first district of Sorsogon.

The former senator has been consistently topping preferential surveys,
but was quick to add that it was no reason to be complacent.

“There are 10 re-electionists unless they are running for higher office and
you’re looking at 8 to 12 former senators who intend to go back to the
Senate, and about 5 to 8 Cabinet secretaries, incumbent secretaries
who intend to run as well. We are not even counting showbiz and other
known personalities,” he said.

“Whoever is way behind should not be sad about it because the numbers
will change,” he explained referring to survey results. “The starting
numbers that you will see, you will have to see some time in January
or February. That’s when the starting gun in so far the real numbers
are concerned for the upcoming elections.

When asked what he plans to bring to the Senate that he has not done
in his last two terms, Escudero said: “My experience in local
government.”

According to Escudero, his exposure to the day-to-day operations of
the Provincial Government of Sorsogon has opened his eyes to the
realities on the ground and the challenges LGU executives deal with in
governing their areas of jurisdiction, particularly during the health
crisis. “Legislating and executing laws are two different things.”

He lamented his frustration, which he said is shared by many LGU chief
executives across the country, on deciding on for themselves what’s
best for their constituents rather than by the national government.

“In fact if there would be one platform that should be brought, that
would be to enable the local government units to decide for themselves
more freely because quite frankly they know, we know better what we
need than any armchair secretary or undersecretary simply holding
office in an air-conditioned building in Metro Manila.

“I hope they will hear them out more often. I hope they will give them
more leeway so far deciding for themselves. Whether we have a pandemic
or not, I think they should give credit where credit is due because
local government officials have been doing a very good job. Fairly
good job actually at the local level in their respective provinces and
cities,” Escudero said.

Under Escudero, the Provincial Government of Sorsogon has received its
International Organization (ISO) certificate for its quality and
efficient public service to Sorsoganons—the first local government
unit in the Bicol region to receive an ISO certification from the
Switzerland-based standards-setting body composed of experts from
across the globe. (ai/mtvn)

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