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Shahani won't back Bongbong, despite blood ties, but will campaign for Grace

Former Sen. Leticia Ramos Shahani (Screen capture from an 'Aksyon' video)
The online news portal of TV5

ASINGAN, Pangasinan – Former Sen. Leticia Ramos-Shahani disputed on Wednesday (March 30) the claims of some politicians that there would still be a Solid North vote for Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

"I think our experience under martial law was not good and I hope it does not come back again and I'm sure many Ilocanos share that," she said in an interview. "I hope and wish that we shall not have martial law and no Ilocano will declare it in our country."

Shahani, sister of former President Fidel V. Ramos, said with the bad experience of Ilocanos during the 20-year dictatorship of Marcos’s father, Ferdinand, destroyed the so-called Solid North.

"There is no solid vote in the North," she said. "I beg your pardon. I am an Ilocano and Ferdinand Marcos was my second cousin. But it does not mean automatically we'll vote for Marcos."

Nonetheless, Shahani said that the country is under democracy that gave everybody the freedom whom they wanted to elect and rule them.

"And politics, of course, because we are in democracy that’s why I participate because I believe people could participate in democratic process of the country and select the politicians whom they want to rule them," she said.

For Poe-Escudero tandem

Shahani said she would throw her support for the tandem of Senators Grace Poe and Francis "Chiz" Escudero, whom she would personally campaign for in the province of Pangasinan.

"We [Ilocanos] are concerned about the country and we would like to have the country to have good politicians," said said.

She said Poe, being a woman, can transform the Philippines.

"I think women are less selfish, less egoistic than men, and maybe some men will not like what I will say, but I think it is true because we think of our children, we think of other people," she said.

"And when you are in politics, you just do not think about of yourself but also you think of others. So that’s my experience as a politician," she added.

As for Escudero, Shahani said he inherited the humor and intelligence of his father, former Agriculture Secretary Salvador "Sonny" Escudero III, which he could use to help Poe to run the country.

"With Chiz, well, I have seen him also," Shahani said. "He is a bright person. And of course, I knew his father Sonny Escudero quiet well. He was chairman of the Agriculture Committee in the House and I was the chairman of the Agriculture Committee in the Senate."

"So I had a lot of interactions with his father," she said. "But Chiz, I told him, that he inherited his father's sense of humor. So he is palabiro. So I think they would make a good pair."

Both Poe and Escudero barnstormed Pangasinan for the sixth times, since the province is one of the most vote-rich places in the country, with 1.7 million registered voters.Poe topped the senatorial race in the province in 2013.