Longtime colleagues Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson and Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III have finally decided to compete in the 2022 races.
This coming August 4, Lacson and Sotto are expected to formally announce their intent to run for president and vice president, respectively, in the May 2022 elections.
The Lacson-Sotto tandem is the very first pairing to signify their plan to seek the two highest elective positions in the land.
“We’re very upbeat,” Sotto reportedly told Senate newsmen, after they had conducted exhaustive consultations with supporters regarding their chances of winning.
Although Lacson admitted in a TV interview last week that indeed they face a lot of hurdles in their quest for the two top government posts, but that they would not forgive themselves if they didn’t give it a try.
“Papano kung manalo tayo,” he said.
A spokesman for the tandem quickly posited that majority of Filipinos are disgusted with the way things are being handled by the incumbent administration such as the West Philippine Sea issue, trillions in debt piled up for dubious purposes and the obvious mishandling of the country’s response to the Covid pandemic which has caused the Philippines’ relegation to the status of “sick man of Asia.”
Sotto is the chairman of the Nationalist People’s Coalition which was established by the late Ambassador Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco to support his run for the Philippine presidency in 1992 (where Fidel Ramos emerged triumphant).
“We are the alternative,” Sotto said. He stressed they are “neither pro-administration nor opposition.”
He also denied criticisms that Lacson and himself are really allies of the Duterte administration – which has yet to announce its official candidates – who are being fielded in the electoral exercise to divide the opposition.
Taking the cue, the NPC released its tentative list of Senate bets for next year’s polls: re-electionist Senators Richard “Dick” Gordon, Sherwin Gatchalian, Joel Villanueva and Miguel Zubiri; comebacking Sens. Loren Legarda, JV Ejercito, Chiz Escudero, Gringo Honasan; former Comelec Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal and Representative Lucy Torres-Gomez.
The opposition coalition led by former Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio, former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and ex-Foreign Affairs Sec. Albert del Rosario had rejected the idea of Lacson becoming their standard bearer as he is one of the authors of the Anti-Terrorism Act.
Sotto said they are going to adhere to the KKK mantra which stands for “Kakayahan, Katapatan, Katapangan.”
In Philippine history, refers to the KKK or Katipunan, the revolutionary group founded in Manila in 1892 by Andres Bonifacio, Ladislao Diwa et al. aimed at toppling the Spanish colonizers who had reigned supreme for over 300 years.
Photo: Albert Calbelo / Philippine Star