Escudero: No friction, rift with Poe

Presidential aspirant and Senator Grace Poe and Senator Francis Escudero.

MANILA — Senators Grace Poe and Francis “Chiz” Escudero vehemently denied on Wednesday any friction or rift in their tandem, saying such talks were just part of political intrigues.

“Walang friction. Walang friction, walang problema, at gaya ng sinabi ko bahagi iyan ng intriga sa pulitika,” Escudero said in an interview in Santa Maria, Pangasinan on Wednesday.
(There is neither friction nor problem and as I have said, such talks were just part of the intrigues in politics.)

“Sana makita niyo kung paano kami ni Senator Grace ‘pag magkasama. Masaya at magaan ang
kampanya namin. Hindi siguro tulad ng iba (na) mabigat at wala masyadong tumatawa. Sa amin magaan, masaya at walang ganoong uri ng rift o hindi pagkakaunawaan,” he said.

(I hope you can see how Senator Grace and I relate to each other when we are together. Our campaign is smooth and going well, probably unlike other campaigns which are rough and wherein no one laughs. Our campaign is smooth and going well and there is no rift or misunderstanding.)

Escudero was responding to a reporter’s question that parties within their camp pushing for alliances with other candidates have causing friction between him and Poe.

Poe also denied this, despite some observations that she and her running mate had been conducting separate sorties lately.

“Hindi naman. E nandito naman kami ni Senator Chiz sa Pangasinan. Ito ang lugar ni FPJ (Fernando Poe Jr.) at gusto ko rin naman dalhin din dito palagi si Senator Chiz para ipakilala siya sa ating mga kababayan,” she said in a separate interview.

(Not really. Senator Chiz and I are here in Pangasinan. This is FPJ’s hometown and I wanted to bring Senator Chiz here often to introduce him to our fellow constituents.)

“Natural lamang ‘yon, sa lawak ng Pilipinas, na minsan hindi kayo magkasama ng tandem ninyo. Pero ‘pag nag-iikot naman ako palagi ko namang binabanggit si Senator Chiz at ganoon din naman siya,” Poe added.
(Because of the Philippines’ landmass, it would be natural that sometimes, my running mate and I run separate campaign sorties. But whenever I go around, I always mention Senator Chiz and he also does the same for me.)

Escudero said there was also no truth to the issue that he and Poe had a silent war after the latter received the endorsement of her godfather, former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.

Estrada threw his support behind Poe and Escudero’s rival Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
“Hindi totoo ‘yon at hindi mangyayari ‘yon,” said Escudero when asked if they had indeed a silent war.
(That’s not true and it will never happen.)

“Sa lahat ng tandem, kami na ni Senator Grace ang may pinakamatagal na pinagsamahan, ang may pinakamaraming pinagdaanan na mga hamon sa nagdaang panahon; hindi tulad ng ibang mga tandem ngayon (na) ngayon lang yata sila nagkasama at nagkakilala. So hindi uubra (ang) ano mang tangka nila na basagin ang aming tandem, lalo na ang aming pagkakaibigan,” Escudero said.

(Of all the tandems, Senator Grace and I have the longest friendship and have overcome most challenges along the way, unlike other tandems who probably have just met and spent time together recently. So, whatever their plans to break apart our tandem, especially our friendship, will not work.)

Escudero served as the spokesman of Poe’s adoptive father, the late action king Fernando Poe Jr., when the latter ran for president in the 2004 elections but lost to then President and now detained Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

In 2013, Poe and Escudero ran together for senator under the administration’s ticket.