INDEPENDENT vice presidential bet Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero vehemently denied that he got into a fistfight with Niel Llamanzares, the husband of his presidential running mate Sen. Grace Poe, over the handling of campaign funds, saying such rumor was meant to break their tandem.
“Not true at all. No such incident, no such argument, no such fight,” Escudero said in response to a question by Karen Davila during ANC’s “Headstart” on Monday.
The veteran lawmaker said the rumor was orchestrated by groups who want to see the Poe-Escudero tandem fall apart.
“Kesa naman sasabihin nilang may secret bank account ako o si Sen. Grace, kesa naman sabihin nila na magnanakaw kami, ‘yun na lang siguro ang pwede nila talagang palabasin na isyu na nag-aaway kami,” the veteran lawmaker said.
Escudero said no amount of rumors and black propaganda would destroy his good relations with Poe, who has been his friend and political ally for more than 12 years beginning when he stood as spokesperson for her father, the late actor Fernando Poe Jr., during the 2004 presidential campaign.
“If you compare us with the other candidates, kami lang ni Sen. Grace ang may pinakamatagal na pinagsamahan at pinagdaanan,” Escudero said.
“Tandaan mo, si Mar at si Leni, ngayon lang nagkakilala. Si Duterte at si Cayetano, ngayon lang din nagkasama. Si Miriam at si Marcos, magkaaway pa noon. Si Gringo at saka si Binay, ngayon lang din nagkasama. Siguro ‘yun ang mahahanap nilang butas na sinusubukang paghiwalayin at pag-awayin, pero hindi mangyayari,” he said.
Escudero also cited what he called as “symbiotic relationship” with Poe as another reason why their opponents are so keen to have them divided.
“Kami na ni Sen. Grace ang may pinakamataas na symbiotic relationship sa kampanya. Ibig sabihin, pinakamalaking porsyento ng botante ko boboto sa kanya at pinakamalaking porsyento ng botante n’ya boboto sa akin, compared to the other tandems,” Escudero explained.
“Perhaps, that’s the reason for these attacks. Sinusubukang paghiwalayin at ipakitang hiwalay dahil sa symbiotic relationship ng boto naming dalawa,” he added.