No rift between Chiz, Loren - NPC spokesman

Posted at 10/28/2009 12:50 AM | Updated as of 10/29/2009 1:08 AM

MANILA - The spokesman of the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC) has denied a rift exists between Senators Francis “Chiz” Escudero and Loren Legarda.

The two are rumored to have had a falling-out, after reports surfaced that Legarda has been in talks with other presidential hopefuls.

Escudero himself is expected to announce his intention to run for president on Wednesday.

"Sen. Escudero and Legarda are members of the NPC and will remain with the NPC. Talks surrounding Sen. Legarda moving to the other side are unfounded speculations, plain and simple. Our position is steadfast, Sen. Escudero and Sen. Legarda will be together with the NPC slate and we will support them 101%," NPC Spokesman Valenzuela City Rep. Rex Gatchalian told ANC on Tuesday.

Gatchalian added that the whole party is excited and upbeat about Escudero's pending announcement.

Legarda, upon declaring her intention to run for vice-president Friday last week, failed to say who her runningmate will be.

Escudero's campaign meanwhile is said to be plagued with problems.

Among them, the resignation of his campaign manager, former Sen. Sergio “Serge” Osmeña III, who has joined the Liberal Party's senatorial slate.

Reports have also come out that NPC founder Eduardo 'Danding' Cojuangco has been wooed by other parties to support either ruling Lakas-Kampi CMD's Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro Jr. or LP's Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, both of whom are his nephews.

Escudero's announcement of his political plans has been deferred at least three times.

But his new political adviser, Lito Banayo, said he will declare his presidential bid for certain on Wednesday.

The announcement will be made at 10 a.m. at the Club Filipino in San Juan City.