Senator Chiz Escudero said discussion about politics should be put on the back burner to give way to more pressing issues like the power crisis, the unabated gas price increases and the impending tuition hikes.

Escudero made the statement in light of the reported coalition forged between Vice President Jejomar Binay’s Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) and former President Joseph Estrada’s Partido ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) in the run up to next year’s midterm election.

Escudero, who is seeking a reelection and has remained independent since he resigned from the Nationalist People’s Coalition in 2009, said more attention should be given to addressing the problems confronting the public rather than political plans.

“Alliances are political certainties and there is rhyme and reason to that. The polls may be already next year but personally I think it’s not yet the right time to be busy about political shopping.” Escudero said.

“There are much more important issues that need attention and action like the power crisis, continuing gas price surge and the impending tuition increases as schools open again in the next few months,” he added.

The senator said much had already been waylaid and disrupted in the legislative work of both chambers of Congress by the impeachment proceedings.

“There is always the right timing to talk politics, it is inevitable yes, but this should take a backseat because we have many pressing issues to take care of and these are unavoidable issues that hit people in their guts,” the senator pointed out.

According to Escudero, there is a need to catch up with priorities that yield tangible and immediate gains for the people like jobs, food for the table and roofs over their heads. 

On Thursday next week, Escudero, chairman of the Senate committee on environment and natural resources, will hold a hearing on bills seeking log ban in Cagayan de Oro City, conservation and protection of mangroves in the country and establishing the La Mesa Watershed Reservation Act among others.

The Senate committee on justice and human rights, which Escudero also heads, has also set hearings on combating financial frauds, imposing heavy penalties on racketeers and organized syndicates in the Philippines, establishing the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Dangerous Drugs and other matters for April 25.