Press Release
May 7, 2016


Amid fresh attempts by the pro-administration Liberal Party (LP) to convince his running mate Sen. Grace Poe to withdraw from the presidential race in favor of its candidate, Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero said the decision to choose the country's next leader is best left to Filipino voters.

"Ang eleksyon dapat pinagpapasyahan 'yan sa pagitan ng taumbayan at ng kanilang konsensya. Hindi po 'yan dapat sinisindikato ng ilan lamang. Hindi po ibinibigay sa iisang tao lamang ang monopolya ng magandang intensyon para sa ating bansa," Escudero told a radio interview.

The veteran lawmaker was reacting to calls by some quarters for Poe to pull out from the five-way presidential race and give way to a "united front" led by LP standard-bearer Mar Roxas to stop Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte from winning the May 9 elections, on grounds that he could become a dictator and impose martial law.

Escudero insisted that he would not allow the country's elite, which is composed of powerful businessmen and politicians, to continue to dictate the course of politics and election in the Philippines.

The decision to pick the country's next set of leaders, the veteran lawmaker said, rests with the electorate. "Let the people decide because that's the essence of democracy."

"Sa araw ng eleksyon, pantay-pantay tayo. Tigi-tigisa tayo ng boto. Presidente ka man o senador ka man, tricycle driver ka man o tsuper man, tigi-tigisa tayo ng boto pagdating ng eleksyon. 'Yan ang kagandahan ng isang demokrasya," Escudero pointed out.

With two days left before the general elections on Monday, Escudero stressed the importance of people's participation in the democratic process.

Escudero, who is running under the "Gobyernong may Puso" platforms of rapid and inclusive growth, poverty alleviation, transparency and global competitiveness, urged the electorate to use their vote as an important precursor for change.

"Monday's election gives the people the opportunity to send a clear message to those in government that they demand a much better government that is willing to listen and address the needs of every Filipino," Escudero said.

"We are urging all voters to use their vote wisely in this election and to be an advocate for the change, which we as a nation both want and deserve," he added.

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