Chiz Escudero is a lawyer, educator, politician and incumbent governor of Sorsogon who has served in both chambers of Congress. He has been married to Heart Evangelista, an actress and socialite, since 2015.
Chiz Escudero was elected to three consecutive terms as representative of the 1st District of Sorsogon, a position previously held by both his parents, Salvador “Sonny” Escudero from 1997 to 1998 and from 2010 to 2012 and Evelina Guevara-Escudero from 2013 until the present.
During his two terms in the Senate, Escudero principally authored and sponsored laws creating an additional 281 courts nationwide, the Anti-Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance Act of 2012 and the Anti-Torture Act of 2009.
In 2016, he unsuccessfully ran for vice president in a tandem with Senator Grace Poe. He returned to the upper chamber until his term expired in 2019. He was then elected as Sorsogon governor.
Chiz Escudero is currently heading the province’s COVID-19 response, providing free medical services through the implementation of the Universal Health Care Act and supporting a speedy vaccination drive by giving financial incentives and easing some restrictions for the fully vaccinated.
He is included in the senatorial slates of Senators Panfilo Lacson and Manny Pacuiao. He is also a guest candidate in the senatorial slate of Vice President Leni Robredo and has been endorsed by vice-presidential aspirant Sara Duterte.
Chiz Escudero is campaigning on empowering local governments and has yet to release a full platform. Throughout his tenure in Congress, he opposed the legalization of divorce and attempts to amend the 1987 Constitution. In 2012, he supported the passage of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression Equality Bill which continues to languish in the Senate to this day.
“Buwelo at mas malawak na diskresyon sa parte ng local government units ang paniniwala kong susi para sa ekonomiya at kalusugan ng ating mga kababayan. Tututukan ko rin ang paggamit ng national budget nang tama dahil ito ay instrument of growth at instrument of healing.”
FRANCIS JOSEPH “CHIZ” GUEVARA ESCUDERO
Full Name: Francis Joseph Guevara Escudero
Birthday: October 10, 1969; (Age 52)
Birthplace: Metro Manila
Languages Spoken: Filipino, English, Bicolano
- Salvador “Sonny” Escudero III (1942-2012), father; minister of food and agriculture (1984-1986); director of the Bureau of Animal Industry (1975 to 1984); representative of the Batasang Pambansa (1984-1986); representative of the 1st District of Sorsogon (1987-1998; 2010-2012), agriculture secretary )1996-1998)
- Evelina G, Escudero, mother; representative of the 1st District of Sorsogon (2013-present)
Siblings: Philip Escudero
Spouse: Love Marie Payawal Ongpauco-Escudero, actress; Annulled (1999-2011); Christine Elizabeth Flores
Children: Ma. Cecilia Escudero; Joaquin Escudero
Profession/Occupation: Public Servant/Governor
- Masters Degree in International and Comparative Law; Georgetown Law Center in Washington, D.C., 1996
- Bachelor of Laws, University of the Philippines College of Law, 1993
- Bachelor’s Degree, Political Science, University of the Philippines Diliman, 1988
- Governor of Sorsogon, 2019-present
- Senator, Senate of the Philippines, 2007-2019
- House Minority Leader, House of Representatives, 2004-2007
- Representative of the 1st District of Sorsogon, House of Representatives, 1998-2007
- Senior Lecturer, College of Law at University of the Philippines, 1996-1998
- Partner, Escudero, Marasigan, Sta. Ana, Vallente and Villareal Law Office, 1995
- Associate, Bautista, Picazo, Buyco, Tan and Fider Law Office,1993
In the lower chamber, Escudero pushed for the cityhood of Sorsogon, which was approved via a plebiscite in 2000. Escudero also served as House minority floor leader from 2004 to 2007.
He was a spokesperson for Fernando Poe, Jr. during the latter’s presidential campaign in 2004. He then became a key opposition figure against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, leading failed impeachment drives against her in 2005.
As a lawmaker in the House of Representatives, Escudero filed about 271 bills during his three terms. The Charter of the City of Sorsogon is among the 10 laws that he principally authored in the lower house. He was also among the representatives who signed the resolutions endorsing the complaints for impeachment filed against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2005 and 2006. Neither complaint made it past the House Committee on Justice.
He principally authored at least 58 laws during his two terms as a senator, including the Anti-Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance Act of 2012, the Bureau of Corrections Act and the Revised Corporation Code.
A brief controversy arose from his wedding to actress Heart Evangelista, relating to the event’s estimated cost as well as the choices of principal sponsors of their marriage. Critics noted the inclusion of business bigwigs whose new affiliation with the Escudero couple may lead to conflicts of interest with the senator’s oversight duties.
In terms of disclosing financial records by public servants, Escudero filed Senate bills in 2010 and 2013 seeking to mandate the submission of a waiver of the secrecy of bank deposits, in relation to all domestic and foreign bank deposits and investment bonds, when public officials are bound by law to submit a SALN. Escudero had included such a waiver when he submitted his SALNs to the Senate secretary.
However, during the impeachment proceedings against then Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Judicial Bar Council officials testified that Escudero was the JBC member who moved to allow “substantial compliance” by Sereno in the submission of her SALNs when she was an applicant for Supreme Court chief justice. Sereno’s failure to declare her SALN in full during her 17-year teaching period at the University of the Philippines-College of Law was among the grounds for her impeachment and later, the basis of the successful quo warranto petition seeking to void her appointment as chief justice.
Escudero later clarified that the easing of the SALN submission rules was done for all SC applicants, given some applicants’ lengthy government service. Escudero also denied being the JBC member who pursued the rule-change, recalling that it was a subject of long debate after an applicant was unable to submit all his SALNs during his public service tenure.
As Sorsogon governor, he focused on improving health and roadways infrastructure, local tourism, disaster preparedness and relief resources. As of February 2022, Escudero reports that 22 offices of the provincial government, nine government hospitals and five municipalities in Sorsogon have been granted quality management system certifications from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO 9001:2015). He also led the province’s COVID-19 response, providing free medical services through the implementation of the Universal Health Care Act in Sorsogon and supporting a speedy COVID-19 vaccination drive by giving financial incentives and release from other infection-mitigation requirements to fully-vaccinated persons.
In June 2020, after the House of Representatives passed on third reading the controversial Anti-Terrorism Act on final reading, Escudero tweeted that the Bill of Rights acts as a limit on government power and potential abuse of laws. Some netizens remarked that his mother, Rep. Evelina Escudero, was among the authors of House Bill No. 6875–to which Escudero replied that she had abstained from the vote approving the bill since it was different from the version initially filed. Rep. Evelina Escudero was among the lawmakers who withdrew their support of the heavily-criticized law.
Escudero briefly practiced law before entering politics, starting as an associate at Bautista, Picazo, Buyco, Tan and Fider Law Office in 1993. In 1995, he became a partner in his own firm, Escudero, Marasigan, Sta. Ana, Vallente and Villareal Law Office.
He also appeared in television shows, anchored a number of radio programs and wrote columns for Abante and Abante Tonite.
BILLS AND RESOLUTIONS
- RA 9514: Revised Fire Code of the Philippines
- RA 9576: Increase Maximum Deposit Insurance
- RA 9745: Anti-Torture Act
- RA 9993: Philippine Coast Guard Act
- RA 10353: Anti-Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance
- RA 10158: Decriminalizing Vagrancy
- RA 10575: Bureau of Corrections Act
- RA 10626: Philippine Statistics Authority Act
- RA 10659: Sugarcane Industry Development Act
- RA 10692: Pag-asa Modernization Act
- RA 10150: Electrical Power Industry Reform
- RA 9500: University of the Philippines Charter
- RA 10156: Conferment of Civil Service Eligibility
- RA 10073: Girl Scouts of the Philippines Charter
- RA 10026: Act granting income tax exemption to local water districts
- RA 8980: Early Childhood Development Act
- RA 9115: Governance of Basic Education Act
- RA 9268: Philippine Veterinary Medicine Act
- RA 9470: National Archives Act
- RA 9003: Ecological Solid Waste Management Act
- RA 9105: Art Forgery Act
- RA 9147: Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act
- RA 9040: The AFP Tax Exemption for Pay and Allowances Act
- RA 8791: General Banking Act
- RA 8750: Seat Belts Use Act
- RA 9160: Anti-Money Laundering Act
- RA 9161: Rental Reform Act
- RA 9257: Expanded Senior Citizens Act
- RA 9189: The Overseas Absentee Voting Act