The Curious Case of Chiz Escudero
Yesterday, Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero, a popular contender in the May 2010 presidential elections, resigned from his party, the National People’s Coalition, in a clear bid to distance himself from NPC Chair, business tycoon and putative presidential kingmaker, Mr. Danding Cojuangco. The announcement sent shockwaves throughout the electoral arena. Other candidates and their respective camps, as well as political pundits of all stripes, will have a field day analyzing the underpinnings, implications and possible scenarios generated by Mr. Escudero’s bombshell decision until he makes his final announcement of his political plans in the coming weeks.
I first met Mr. Escudero when I, together with other victims of human rights violations under the Marcos dictatorship, sought a dialogue with members of the House of Representatives over a bill that would respond to the victims’ demand for justice and restitution. He was then a first term representative from Sorsogon. I ended up berating the cocky lawyer-congressman for seeming to trivialize the victims’ plaint and attributed his apparent lack of concern to the fact that his father had been one of Marcos’ loyal Cabinet members. Back then, he already struck me as somewhat of a jaded politician despite his youth.
In time though, Mr. Escudero has become a curious case, not unlike the hero in the fanciful film “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, who started out physically old and emotionally naïve, then inexplicably grew younger as he matured.
*Dr. Araullo is the Chairperson of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN).