Press Release
May 3, 2016


Independent vice-presidential bet Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero laughed off accusations that his running mate, presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe, had engaged in vote-buying.

Escudero dismissed as "baseless and false" the allegations hurled against Poe by senatorial aspirant Greco Belgica, who is asking the Commission on Elections to investigate an alleged vote-buying incident involving Poe's supporters in Baguio City.

He said it was "highly improbable" for Poe and the Partido Galing at Puso to buy votes in the run up to the May 9 elections, given the fact that they do not even have enough funds to mount a nationwide campaign.

"Hindi totoo iyon... Isa sa pinakamadaling-gawin, lalo na sa halalan ay ang magsabi ng alegasyon na may nag-aalok ng pera at diumano may tumatanggap," Escudero told a press conference in Quezon City.

"Independent kami at kulang na nga ang pondo namin. Hindi po namin gagawin 'yan," he added.

Escudero also questioned the timing of Belgica's petition, which was filed barely a week before the automated polls.

"Nakakatawa lamang 'yung timing at nakakatawa lang bakit dinamay niya si Senator Grace samantalang napakaraming ebidensya at alegasyon kaugnay sa paggamit ng Liberal Party ng makinarya at government resources na mas malala pa sa vote-buying. Bakit hindi iyon ang pinansin niya?" Escudero pointed out.

The subject of the petition is a video showing the alleged Poe supporters complaining of not receiving the P500 promised to them in exchange for their attendance at her campaign rally.

According to Escudero, anyone can claim to be supporters of Poe when they are actually not. "Basta sigurado ako na wala 'yung mukha ko at mukha ni Sen. Grace [sa video]," he said.

The Bicolano solon nevertheless said they had instructed their lawyers to prepare the necessary response to the petition.

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