Senator Chiz Escudero said a smear campaign against him has been launched to coincide with his bid to seek another term in the Senate next year.
“It has become evident that there are some people who wish to destroy my name and character. A smear campaign appears to be underway to malign me. Even before I filed my certificate of candidacy (on Tuesday), I have already received reports of such mudslinging,” Escudero said.
The senator said he had been informed by members of media that text messages have been circulating alleging that he had authored or would pass legislation that would trim the salaries of government workers.
“There is no such bill. It is really disappointing how those behind this smear campaign can conduct such black propaganda, disappointing because it insults me but, more importantly, insults the Filipino people. Maliwanag na napakaliit ng tingin at kawalan ng paggalang sa mga botante natin ang ganyang kababawan,” Escudero said.
He stressed that such a measure would be unconstitutional.
The senator had earlier pushed for a bill granting monthly pensions to retired government workers upon reaching the age of 70.
He filed Senate Bill 2106, titled “An Act to Grant Monthly Pension to Government Retirees under RA 161 Who Have Reached the Age of Seventy Years,” which provides gratuity to government pensioners.
“The mudslinging and misinformation are part of election fever, I suppose, which makes it all the more disappointing. This is one of the things that we hope to change, this kind of politics. There is no room for it in a reformed political environment,” he added.
The senator filed his certificate of candidacy on Tuesday at the Commission on Elections office as an independent candidate but was adopted as a guest candidate by both the Liberal Party and United Nationalist Alliance coalitions.
Escudero came out number one in the most recent survey of the Social Weather Stations polling firm and second in a similar survey conducted by another polling agency, Pulse Asia.
“I have served as congressman and senator since 1998. I should be used to this campaigning by now but I am not. It’s just further proof that the task of change and reform is still a work in progress and that we should not let down our guard against traditional politics and corruption,” the senator said.