Chiz Escudero rejects tandem with Villar

Next to Noynoy, I like Chiz Escudero. If he becomes the president, you can expect our country to be in good hands. There were charges against Villar as raised by Jamby Madrigal but he never faced the senate hearings. Was it because he has many hidden agendas? What he did instead - using his billions - was launched an aggressive media campaign to deny the charges, claiming that the allegations are meant to undermine his bid for the presidency, according to Chiz. Can we ever forget that he was once a Marcos' ally and crony and it's easy to think that he has the Marcos’ style and training.
If I may borrow a reader's comment, we are taking another risk for our country if Villar becomes the next president.
MANILA - Senator Francis 'Chiz' Escudero on Friday rejected a team-up with Nacionalista Party (NP) presidential aspirant Senator Manny Villar even if an alleged Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed that a Villar-Escudero tandem has the best chance of winning next year's elections.

“Impossible. It will never happen. I stand for good governance,” Escudero said in a statement.

“Given what I have seen and read about the allegations raised in the C-5 controversy, it seems to be just the tip of the iceberg. I cannot in good conscience run with or under him,” he added.

Escudero, who will turn 40 in October, is expected to seek the support of his party, the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC), whose titular head is San Miguel Corp. (SMC) chair and chief executive officer Eduardo 'Danding' Cojuangco Jr..

Escudero said "Villar has refused to attend the hearings by the Senate on allegations raised by Sen. Jamby Madrigal in October last year that his real estate empire benefited from the diversion of the C-5 road extension project."

Instead, Escudero said "the billionaire senator has launched an aggressive media campaign to deny the charges, claiming that the allegations are meant to undermine his bid for the presidency."

“If the charges are false, then there is still time for Sen. Villar to present his side before his peers in the Senate,” Escudero said. [ABS-CBN]


Inside Jaycee Lee Dugard's backyard home for 18 years - see pictures

Jaycee was only 11 years old when she was kidnapped and was forced to live with her monster kidnapper, Phillip Garrido, and everyone would like a peep of their backyard home with her two daughters to see how they lived their lives for 18 years. has exclusive photos inside convicted sex offender Phillip Garrido's backyard prison camp where he raped and held captive Jaycee Lee Dugar for nearly two decades, fathering two children by his sex slave before his arrest last week. Click here to see pictures.


Ex-wife of Jaycee Lee Dugard's kidnapper, Phillip Garrido speaks out

Ex-wife Christine Murphy recalls hell-like life with Phillip Garrido, accused kidnapper of Jaycee Lee Dugard.

I was always looking for a way to get away," says Christine Murphy, talking about the darkest time of her life...her marriage to Jaycee Lee Dugard's accused kidnapper Phillip Garrido.

"He's a monster," she says.

Christine and Phillip Garrido were high school sweethearts in northern California.

But there were early signs that Garrido was no Prince Charming. Christine says Garrido was accused of raping a teenager while she was dating him. She believed him when he told her the teen was lying.

"Why did you marry him?" asks INSIDE EDITION's Diane McInerney.
"I was in love with him," Christine says.

When they eloped in 1973, Christine was filled with optimism about the future. But she says life with Garrido quickly became a nightmare.

"He started to get controlling, he started hitting me," she says. "He smacked me, he told me to grow up."

Just 19 when they married, Christine worked at a Reno casino to pay the bills because Garrido, an aspiring musician, had no real income. She says he took LSD or smoked marijuana every day, and he became violent when she refused to go along with his sexual fantasies.

"What did he ask you to do?" McInerney asks.
"Multiple partners is what he wanted, I wouldn’t go for that," says Christine.

When Garrido saw another man flirt with his wife, Christine says he took out a safety pin and dug it into her face. The scar is still visible. And when she ran away, Garrido carried out what was probably his first kidnapping.

"He pulled up in front me and we got in an argument and he grabbed me and threw me in the car," she says of the incident.

Four years into the marriage, Garrido was convicted of kidnapping and raping a woman and was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

"Honestly [I was] relieved, it was my exit out," Christine says of Garrido's sentence.

Christine later remarried and had four children. She had no idea that her ex-husband had been released from jail until she heard the news about the discovery of Jaycee Lee Dugard.

"It made me sick to my stomach," she says of Dugard's ordeal.

Christine says she has total sympathy for what Jaycee has gone through these last 18 years.

"What do you want to say to Phillip Garrido right now?"

"Nothing. The only person I have anything to say to is the victims: Just be strong, take it one day at a time."


BREAKING NEWS! Mar Roxas withdraws from 2010 race

MANILA - Senator Manuel "Mar" Roxas II formally announced his withdrawal from the 2010 presidential race on Tuesday and his support for his partymate, Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III.

"I am announcing my support for the candicacy of Noynoy Aquino for President in 2010," Roxas said at a press conference at the Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan.

"Noy has made it clear to me that he wants to carry the torch of leadership. The passing of our beloved former President Aquino has reawakened a passion among us. I acknowledge this as fuel to bring us to the realization of our dream: Good will triumph over evil," he said in his speech.

"Ito na ang pinakamabigat na desisyon sa buhay ko. Maniwala man kayo o hindi, ginagawa ko ito para sa bayan, para sa inyo. I do this for unity in support of change. And if that means that somebody must make the sacrifice, it must be me. Ako na," Roxas said, alluding to his political ads.

Among those present were LP chairman emeritus and former Senate President Jovito Salonga, former education secretary Florencio "Butch" Abad, and Aquino.

Country above self

He said his decision to withdraw his 2010 bid was placing the interests of the country above his own.

"Country above self. Bayan bago sarili," he said at the beginning of his speech.

Roxas said that he and Aquino share the same "outrage over the mess we are all in, the same way we share the solution--clean, honest, selfless public service."

"Noynoy and I want to make a difference, but we also know that we need to unite to achieve what we want," he said.

"Over the weekend, Noynoy and I had many long conversations... Masinsinang usapan. We agreed: Let us forget about ourselves for a moment. This is not about us, this is about our people and our country. This is about our common dream. The dream of our parents. But let us not remain a country of dreamers. Tama na ang pangarap. Gawin na natin, ngayon," Roxas said.

Before ending his speech, Roxas gave a message to Aquino.

"To you Noy, I say: I began the campaign to sow the seeds para sa pagbabago at reporma. You must now be the one to grow them in the arena of leadership," Roxas said.

"Hindi kami maghihiwalay ni Noy. I will stand with him," he said.

Nonoy's plans

He also had a message for his supporters, saying he won't be abandoning them.

"At sa aking mga kababayan, sa mga nagtiwala sa akin: Mahal na mahal ko po kayo. Mahal na mahal ko po ang ating bayan. Hindi rin tayo maghihiwalay. Itutuloy natin ang pagbabago sa ating bansa. Itutuloy natin ang laban para sa reporma," he said.

He, however, did not say if he will be Aquino's running mate, or if he would run for re-election in the Senate. Noynoy is expected to make announcement about his decision for 2010 on Wednesday.

Prior to the press conference, LP officials declined to confirm the announcement, but LP leader and former representative Nereus Acosta told ABS-CBN's Pia Hontiveros prior to the 6:30 pm press conference that the LP is heeding the clamor of the people.

Acosta said Roxas will be explaining the rationale for the changes in the LP's political plans. He said national interest, rather than personal interest, became the basis for Roxas' decision.

Since Roxas announced his decision to run as LP's presidential candidate, he has spent heavily on political ads.

Liberal Party roots

Both the Roxas and Aquino families have deep roots in the Liberal Party.

Roxas' grandfather, former President Manuel Roxas, founded the Liberal Party in the 1960's. The elder Manuel was the first president of the Philippine Republic.

Roxas' father, former Senator Gerardo M. Roxas, was the president of the party from 1969 to 1982. "My father led it during the most difficult times of Martial Law. Sa harap ng peligro, sa kabila ng napakaraming tukso, hindi siya sumuko. (In difficulties and temptations, he did not give up.)"

"He inspired me-to stay the course, to fight the good fight, to pass the test of true character. To believe," Roxas shared about his father.

Aquino's parents were also involved in the Liberal Party. His father, former Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. was the party's most vocal member against the Marcos rule. His mother, former President Cory Aquino, ran as a guest candidate of the party in the 1986 snap election.

In the weeks leading to Roxas' announcement on Tuesday, Filipinos mourned the August 1 death of Cory Aquino, a democracy icon, and commemmorated Ninoy Aquino's death last August 21.

Read full transcript of Senator Mar Roxas.


Will it be Noynoy or Mar for the presidency, the final decision is reaching its end

The clamor of people for Noynoy Aquino to run as president and to continue to carry the torch of leadership his heroic parents had left us continue to rise. ABS-CBN reports that Kiko Pangilinan has joined efforts to convince Aquino to run for president. He said he sees Aquino as a unifying force among groups pushing for change.

"Sa iba't ibang parte ng bansa, marami na po ang naghahanap ng tunay na pagbabago. Naniniwala tayo na si Senator Aquino ang maaaring mapagkaisa ang lahat ng nagnanasa ng pagbabago," Pangilinan said.

He said that aside from Aksyon Demokratiko, the political party of the late Sen. Raul Roco, and Pampanga Gov. Ed Panlilio, hundreds of political leaders in the provinces, particularly in Cebu, are willing to support Aquino's presidential run.

"Hindi na ito usapin ng lilinya ka ba sa oposisyon o sa administrasyon. Ito ay usapin ng lilinya ka ba sa simulain ni Cory at ni Ninoy," he added.