Until now, I have yet to choose what to write on the field labeled as President on the ballot come May 2010. But as of now, it is a toss up between abstain and Chiz Escudero.

Hours before his supposed bombshell, my curiosity prompted me to call a friend who is working for a political marketing firm connected to Senator Chiz Escudero. I asked if they have any idea what would be in store for the said Senator’s press conference that morning. My contact said that they’re not anymore connected to Sen. Escudero. “But you are frat brods, ” I told him and he retorted, “I support him in my personal capacity but I really don’t know what he is supposed to announce today.”

That is very unusual as that person is very much willing to share political information to me as a quid pro quo to me sharing the things I know.

So while I’m at work, I took time to refresh three Philippine news sites (abs-cbnnews.com, gmanews.tv and inquirer.net) every now and then as I don’t want to be left behind about this. And then, the headlines graced Sen. Escudero’s shocking pronouncement that he is resigning from the Nationalist People’s Coalition, his party for the past 11 years.

At first, I don’t know how to react. Instead of dousing water on my curiosity, the information spawned more questions. Does Danding know? How about the NPC leadership? What would Chiz do now? If he runs, who’ll be his machinery?

That confusion continued until the evening news interview between Ted Failon and the senator. But that time, it wasn’t about Danding or the NPC any longer, not even about Chiz’s presidential plans (or the lack of it) or his machinery (or the lack of it again) anymore. My final confusion on the issue is why the senator, known for his courage, isn’t answering Failon’s questions in his trademarked bravery and straightforwardness. Is it because answering it frankly would hurt Danding and the NPC?

I am happy that Chiz, still my favored presidential candidate (Noynoy as far second and the others farther), is the first one to categorically state his position on critical working class issues like labor contractualization. It is way better than Aquino’s motherhood statements, Villar’s non-committal stance and Erap’s demagoguery.

But I’m still finding it hard to fully support him because there seems to be something hidden behind his evasion of Ted Failon’s questions. And when I chanced upon a well-known law dean yesterday, he informed me that his contacts are telling him that Escudero is still a presidential contender.

Yes, I believe that Chiz is still running but, for now, I’m still leaning to abstain. Not until he is courageous against Danding and NPC as he is against Gloria and Lakas-Kampi.