Press Release
April 26, 2016


Independent vice-presidential candidate Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero said he was overwhelmed by the endorsements he received from political heavyweights and various groups, the latest of which was from Albay Gov. Joey Salceda.

Escudero thanked Salceda, one of the most influential leaders in the Bicol region, for endorsing his vice-presidential bid, saying it gives him a potentially significant boost barely two weeks before the May 9 general elections.

"Nagpapasalamat kami kay Gov. Joey at sa iba pang nagpahayag ng suporta. Alam nyo malaking bagay 'yan para sa akin lalung-lalo na't independent na kandidato po ako," Escudero told a radio interview in Isabela province, where he brought the "Gobyernong may Puso" campaign on Tuesday.

"Wala po akong partido, makinarya o pera 'di tulad ng ibang kandidato kung kaya't anumang suporta na nagmumula sa mga opisyal, indibidwal, grupo, organisasyon o partido ay malaking bagay po 'yan palagi para sa akin," added the lawmaker from Sorsogon.

Salceda, former regional chairman of the ruling Liberal Party, announced on April 22 that he was throwing his full support to the vice-presidential bid of his fellow Bicolano, Escudero, choosing him over the administration's candidate and another Bicolano, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo.

Salceda's decision to pick Escudero over Robredo is seen to shift the political balance in vote-rich Bicol region, which is home to more than 3.1 million registered voters.

The Albay provincial chief also earlier endorsed the candidacy of Escudero's running mate, presidential bet Sen. Grace Poe.

"My President is Grace Poe," Salceda declared in a statement last week.

"My President has clear plans and has the heart for the ordinary Filipino. She listens to countryside concerns and would stand firm for the country. Her intentions are pure. She has the ability and courage to enforce the law," he said.

"For the good of all Albayanos, and for the future of my country, it is my duty to join Gobyernong may Puso (government with a heart)," Salceda added.

Salceda's support for Poe and Escudero is seen to lift their political fortunes in the Bicol region, which is composed of six provinces: Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate and Sorsogon.

Last month, Escudero also secured a major endorsement of one of Cebu province's most influential political figures, former Gov. Emilio "Lito" Osmeña.

The 77-year-old former provincial chief joined Barug Alang sa Kauswagan ug Demokrasya or Bakud Party of the prominent Durano clan in endorsing Escudero's vice-presidential bid to Cebuano voters.

Cebu is the most vote-rich province in the country with more than 2.7 million registered voters for the coming polls, according to data from the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Escudero was also endorsed by 48 lawmakers and regional candidates in the district and party-list ranks led by Negros Occidental Rep. Albee Benitez, who promised to deliver at least 10 million votes for the Poe-Escudero tandem.

Negros Occidental was identified by the Comelec as the fifth most vote-rich province with over 1.66 million registered voters.

Escudero also got the endorsement of reelectionist Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo "Pulong" Duterte, whose father, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, is seeking the presidency.

Former senator Leticia Ramos-Shahani, sister of former President Fidel Ramos, also backed the candidacy of Escudero during a campaign sortie in Pangasinan last month.

Also endorsing Escudero's vice-presidential bid are Ifugao Gov. Denis Habawel; the Kabalikat ng Bayan Kaunlaran or KABAKA party of Manila mayoral candidate and incumbent Rep. Amado Bagatsing; the Alliance of Concerned Transport Operators or ACTO, one of the country's biggest transport groups with 400,000 members nationwide; the Coalition of Clean Air Advocates Philippines that also named the senator a "Clean Air Champion," among others.

News Latest News Feed