Hand signal? We could have just met with Sotto sans Lacson, says Robredo
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo said Friday they could have just talked directly to Senate President Vicente Sotto III if they had any private messages to the latter and not invited Senator Panfilo Lacson.
Robredo had this to say after Lacson said he was “insulted” following his second “unification” meeting with the Vice President as he felt he was being told to withdraw from the presidential race.
According to Lacson, Sotto told him after the meeting that Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, who was also present during the talk, was supposedly making hand gestures suggesting a Robredo-Sotto tandem.
But Robredo said she did not see Drilon making such hand gesture during the meeting.
“’Yung sa akin, ako yung nag-seek out sa kanila and sa akin, bakit ako magaaksaya ng panahon kung hindi ako seryoso doon sa ninanais ko sanang objectives that will come out of the talks?” Robredo said.
(For me, I was the one who sought out the meeting and for me, why would I waste my time if I was not serious about the objectives I wished would come out of the talks?)
“Hindi ko nakita si Senator Drilon na nag hand signals pero para sa akin, wala namang any need for that kasi kung meron kaming mensaheng ipapaabot na ayaw naming marinig ni Senator Ping edi sana si Senator Sotto na lang kinausap namin but we requested to talk to both of them,” she added.
(I did not see Senator Drilon make a hand signal but for me, there’s no need for that because if we have a message to Senator Sotto that we did not want Senator Lacson to hear, then we could have just talked to Senator Sotto. But we requested to talk to both of them.)
Drilon likewise denied making the supposed hand signals.
“To be honest with you, I do not know bakit naging issue ito. Sasabihin ko sa inyo, hindi ko po alam ang mga hand signals,” Drilon said in a press briefing on the announcement of Robredo’s senatorial slate for the 2022 national elections.
(To be honest with you, I do not know bakit naging issue ito. I will tell you now, I do not know these hand signals.)
“I communicate through verbal—using my communication skill, whatever it is but never my hand. Hindi ko alam kung ano ito (I don’t know what this is), I was surprised by this,” he added.
Drilon said he was merely tasked to organize the meeting between the Lacson-Sotto tandem with Robredo in line with the push to have a unity ticket for next year’s polls.
“[The meeting] was a sincere effort to seek unity and I honestly do not recall the hand signals. You ask me today what the hand signal was, I do not know because I never communicate that way,” Drilon said.
Pressed if he ever pushed for a Robredo-Sotto tandem, Drilon did not categorically respond, saying: “It was a unity talk. It was an effort to unify those who are not in the administration.”
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