MANILA, Philippines—Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Wednesday endorsed the return of his former colleague in the the Senate, Jamby Madrigal.
Lacson, who will leave the Senate after two consecutive terms that started in 2001, said Madrigal would continue the fight they waged together against graft until the former senator decided to run for President in 2010 instead of running for re-election.
“Jamby and I fought the good fight in the Senate, exposing anomalies without fear or favor. She’s the type who won’t back down from a fight, a type of Senator this country badly needs to continue the war against corruption,” Lacson said in a statement.
Lacson said he and Madrigal fought side by side in exposing the sins of the Arroyo administration, particularly the anomalous national broadband network deal with China’s ZTE Corp.
He said they also filed bills and resolutions to combat poverty, protect the environment and provide jobs and more livelihood opportunities for Filipinos.
Lacson urged his followers to throw their support behind Madrigal, whom he described as his long-time ally in the Senate, saying she will continue the reforms he started.
“Jamby will continue our crusade once I leave the Senate, that’s why I’m only too happy to endorse her candidacy,” Lacson said.
Lacson hails from the vote-rich province of Cavite, where his son and chief of staff Jay is running for vice governor alongside Liberal Party gubernatorial bet Cavite Rep. Irineo Maliksi.
A longtime police officer, Lacson is credited for cleaning up the image of a reputedly corrupt PNP when he became its director-general in 1999.
Madrigal, on the other hand, won her first term as senator in 2004.
She remains as the only candidate chosen by President Aquino outside the winning circle in the latest survey of Pulse Asia.
Former Sen. Ramon Magsaysay, Jr. and former Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros, who were similarly situated in the surveys as Madrigal, have made it to the circle of probable winners according to Pulse Asia.
Madrigal, in an earlier interview with reporters, took solace in the fact that her survey numbers were also not quite good when she won a Senate seat nine years ago.