Lacson, Sotto buoyed by growing public support | Inquirer News

Lacson, Sotto buoyed by growing public support

Sotto, Lacson bare P20M 'lobby money' from a congressman

Senate President Vicente Sotto III (left) chats with Sen. Panfilo Lacson before the start of the plenary session Tuesday, September 29, 2020. (Joseph Vidal/Senate PRIB)

MANILA, Philippines — Buoyed by public support for their tandem, Senators Panfilo Lacson and Vicente Sotto III virtually confirmed that they will be running for president and vice president in next year’s national elections.

“They are glad,” Sotto, the incumbent Senate president who wants to run for vice president, said. “It’s very emboldening. They were pleased and encouraged us to pursue the programs we presented to them.”


“They have many questions in our open forums. And the programs that we are developing seem to meet their needs spot on,” Sotto reported from Ilocos Sur after he and Lacson went to Bulacan, Tarlac, Pangasinan, and La Union provinces.


Sotto said they met with various communities and political leaders, including Narvacan Mayor and Ilocos political kingpin Chavit Singson, and the Ortegas of La Union, who were supposedly delighted to receive the news of a looming Lacson-Sotto pairing.

They also met with their longtime supporters in the traditionally contentious political battleground of Pangasinan with its almost 2 million votes.

He said he and Lacson were pleased that local leaders showed some unity and were not adversarial, regardless of their political affiliations.

“It has been quite amusing because even those in the religious sector said they did not mind the political noise. They were more concerned about what has been happening to the country, and what affects them most,” he said, reporting the “disillusionment” in the countryside.

“The concern is more about the advancement that they have achieved over the past years,” Sotto said. “I can it put this way: Of the country’s current P11-trillion debt, did they benefit from it somehow? That is the kind of feedback we have been getting.”

“If in the old days, there used to be a sentiment among Cebuanos about the so-called Imperial Manila, here in Luzon, there’s also that feeling,” he added.


For his part, Lacson said the challenges confronting the country could still be addressed by real leadership and hoped that the 2022 elections would revolve around pressing issues and not turn out to be another “campaign of entertainment.”

The former national police chief recalled his experience in dealing with police corruption and how he used a single standard for everyone, regardless of rank, and tried hard to show leadership by example.

“If your subordinates see you violating your own standards, why would they follow your orders? That is why there is no substitute for leadership by example,” he said.

Lacson also expressed alarm over the national debt that has ballooned to P11.071 trillion as of May, and the possibility it may continue to grow even before the end of the Duterte administration.

“There are now 110 million Filipinos. Easily each of us, even those born just today, will already be saddled with a debt of P100,000,” Lacson said.

Sotto said he and Lacson would make the official announcement of their candidacies on Aug. 5, after completing the remaining consultation meetings in the Cagayan Valley, which has more than 2.2 million voters in 2019.

They will then proceed to the Visayas, comprised of three regions with almost 13 million votes in 2019.

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The Mindanao meetings will be done in-between sessions after July 26.


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