Sen. Chiz Escudero is no longer running for president in the May 2010 elections. At a press conference held in Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan this morning, November 24, the 40-year old solon said he has decided to continue his term as a senator and not to seek any position next year.
Escudero said he does not want to be "eaten by the system" if he seeks the highest office of the land.
"Akala ko madali magdesisyon, hindi pala. Hindi pala presidency at all cost kung lalamunin lang ako ng sistema. I decided not to run as president," he announced.
Escudero also hinted that his decision to halt his candidacy might have something to do with money. Political analysts say that at least two billion pesos is required to be able to launch a successful nationwide campaign that will ensure an easy win.
"Kung meron akong ganung uri ng pera, e, di tumakbo na sana ako sa halalan. Yung pinanggalingan ko meron, yung kinalalagyan ko, wala," he said.
Earlier, Escudero was reportedly being primed to be the standard bearer of the Nationalist People's Coalition. The Senator, however, quit the political party last month allegedly due to lack of support from party Chairman Emeritus Danding Cojuangco.
SUPPORT FOR NOYNOY? Escudero also admitted that his close friendship with Liberal Party presidential bet Sen. Noynoy Aquino also factored into his current decision. The two reportedly met after Escudero left NPC. Details of the meeting were not made public.
"Hindi makakaila na tinimbang ko yung pagiging matalik naming pagkakaibigan ni Noynoy sa desisyong ginawa ko," Escudero said. "Kung tila diktado ng panahon na ito'y para sa kanya, hindi para sa isang tunay na kaibigan na agawin o makihati pa doon. Hayaan natin kung saka-sakali, ibang tao ang gumawa noon, pero hindi ako na tumatayo bilang kaibigan."
Escudero said he has not yet decided who to endorse.
"Wala pa kong pasya kung sino ang susuportahan. Tulad ng nabanggit ko, bilang mga botante, at bilang mga Pilipino, sabay-sabay nating pag-aralan kung sino ang dapat suportahan," he said.
But Escudero stressed that he will never support former Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, the administration's presidential candidate.
"Siyam na taon na akong nasa oposisyon, hindi ito ang panahon para lumipat sa administrasyon," he said.