Lacson-Sotto tandem nixes motorcades: How can you talk to people if you’re moving?
MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Thursday explained that he and Senator Panfilo Lacson does not conduct caravans to woo voters simply because it could not allow them to talk to the people.
During the Meet the Press forum, Lacson was asked whether their decision to refrain from doing motorcades was a conscious decision and part of their strategy – to which he answered in the affirmative.
Sotto, on the other hand, justified their style saying they try to convince people to pick their tandem by reaching out and talking to them – which would not happen if they are aboard a moving vehicle.
“Ang strategy namin is to try to reach and talk to the people. So hindi kami pass-by, kasi hindi mo makakausap (‘yong tao) eh. That’s the strategy,” he said.
(Our strategy is to try to reach and talk to the people. So we would not just pass by, because, with that, you can’t talk to the people. That’s the strategy.)
“Either (you talk to) the people themselves or the representatives of the people, ‘yon po ang intention ng Online Kumustahan na hybrid, sapagkat nagpupunta kami mismo doon sa lugar para marinig sila, mapakinggan natin kung ano ‘yong sinasabi nila, at marinig din nila kung ano ang sinasabi namin,” he added.
(Either you talk to the people themselves or the representatives of the people, that’s the intention of our Online Kumustahan which is in a hybrid system, as we visit the places itself to hear their concerns, hear their grievances, and at the same time, for them to hear our messages.)
Lacson and Sotto will run for president and vice president, respectively, in the May 2022 elections.
Further, Lacson explained, their tandem refrains from engaging in activities that lead to crowding which may risk the health of the people amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
He even cited an instance when tricycle drivers were not allowed to enter an event venue because the area already reached its permitted capacity. He said it would not have been a problem if there was no COVID-19.
“If you noticed, nililimit namin ‘yong crowd kapag meron kaming Online Kumustahan ‘di ba? Katunayan ‘yong nakaraan namin sa Quezon City, sa Eton, ‘yong TODA, ang daming nasa labas doon, hindi pinayagan at ‘yon, nagpapaumanhin na rin kami kasi hindi lahat na-accomodate,” Lacson said.
(If you noticed, we have been limiting our crowd during every Online Kumustahan, right? As a matter of fact, last time in Quezon City, at Eton, a lot of tricycle drivers and owners were left outside and not allowed to enter. There, we asked for understanding because we were not able to accommodate everybody.)
“Hindi dahil sa ayaw i-accomodate kundi maba-violate ‘yong physical distancing. Kaya kung hindi man nakapasok — I think mga nasa 1,500 at least ‘yong naiwan sa labas — kasi nga kung papapasukin lahat ‘yon, eh medyo baka maging super spreader,” he added.
(Not because we don’t want to accommodate them; rather, it may violate physical distancing rules. That’s why if they were not able to enter — I think at least 1,500 were still outside — it was because if we allowed all of them to go inside, we might have a super spreader event.)
Lacson said they do not want to be the reason why COVID-19 numbers would rise again, especially since infections have been constantly on a downward trend.
“So kami mine-maintain namin ‘yong disiplina not only for whatever reason, kundi ayaw naming mag-contribute pa kasi pababa na nang pababa ‘yong positivity rate natin, tapos tayo pa ‘yong makaka-likha ng pagtaas ulit, ‘pag spike ulit, eh ‘yon ‘yong ang iniiwasan namin,” he explained.
(So we are maintaining the discipline not only for whatever reasons, but because we do not want to contribute more COVID-19 cases especially when our positivity rate has been going down, and then we would be the reason for increases and spikes? No, that’s what we’re avoiding.)
The questions posed to Lacson and Sotto came a day after Bongbong Marcos and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio held a caravan in Quezon City, which caused a traffic jam along Commonwealth Avenue.
Former Rep. Arnel Ty, who is now treasurer of Lacson’s Partido Reporma, criticized the event for inconveniencing the public who expected light traffic on Wednesday, December 8, a non-working holiday to commemorate the feast of immaculate.
Lacson said earlier that while they refrain from making criticisms, they allow other members of their parties to make remarks, especially if they themselves experienced the discomfort.
In a statement, the Quezon City government said that the organizers of the caravan refused to coordinate with them regarding the motorcade.
The camp of Marcos Jr. has since apologized.
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