By Peter Angelo Blaza and Katherine Elona
The political influence of Francis “Chiz” Escudero on this year’s elections is certainly undeniable. After endorsing the mixed “Noy-Bi” presidential ticket of Aquino and Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay, Escudero, 40, may just cement his kingmaker reputation by winning the senate presidency.
Escudero has been in the news lately with many senators labeling him as the “dark horse” in the race for Senate President. If elected Senate President he would go down as the youngest in history.
News reports confirmed that talks were being made to convince Escudero to stand in position as Senate President, but Escudero denied this statement.
A little less than a month ago, Escudero said in a press interview that he was still considering the position and said Congress should focus more on proclaiming the president and vice president before thinking about politics in the Senate.
Before the elections, Escudero was asked by Enrile to act as Senate President in case there was a failure of election.
Escudero may get up to seven votes for Senate President, mostly comprising of independent and opposition members not linked with the other bets Villar and Drilon.
Escudero earned his undergraduate degree in political science at UP and finished law at the same university in 1993. He later went abroad to finish his masters degree at Georgetown University before returning home in 1996.
Before becoming a lawyer, Escudero was a teaching assistant at the UP Department of Political Science for a year and later became an analyst in the Batangas Development Planning Office.
From 1993 onwards, Escudero practiced law in different firms before establishing his own together with his partners. Currently he is a partner of the Escudero, Marasigan, Sta. Ana, Vallente and Villareal Law Office (EMSAVIL Law).
In 1998, Escudero began his political career by running for Sorsogon first district representative under the National People’s Coalition (NPC). He was then House Minority Leader from 2004 to 2007.
In 2007, Escudero filed his candidacy for the Senate, which he later won and had one of the highest votes in the senatorial lineup. Escudero was said to have risen in popularity after he played a pivotal role in two out of four impeachment drives against Arroyo.
Speculations arose that Escudero was seeking the running for the executive office but backed down and said it was not his time to run for a position.
In the midst of the filing of candidacies for the 2010 elections, Escudero considered running for the presidential post as an independent candidate when he decided to severe the 11-year-old tie with NPC owned by San Miguel Corporation Chairperson and CEO Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, Jr., who also ran for President in 1992.
According to news reports, Escudero had a disagreement with Cojuangco when he failed to convince the mogul to bankroll his presidential candidacy during their talks last October.
Escudero denied the allegation and said his move was based on his belief that a president should be unbiased and not be tied to any political party.