Lacson fires back at Trillanes over 'never part of opposition' remark: 'I am independent'

Senator Panfilo Lacson responded to his former colleague, Antonio Trillanes IV, after the latter said that he was "never" considered a member of the opposition for supporting some of the Duterte administration's policies.

Senator Panfilo 'Ping' Lacson and former senator Antonio 'Sonny' Trillanes IV (MANILA BULLETIN File Photos)

Lacson took to Twitter Friday, June 11, to react to Trillanes statement.

"Independent nga eh. Sa tama lang pwede sumama. Hindi naman mahirap i-memorize 'yan (That's why it's called being independent. That you will only side with what's right. That's not difficult to memorize)," he told the former senator.

During an interview with One News last Thursday, June 10, Trillanes disagreed that the 1Sambayan opposition coalition should include Lacson as one of its presidential nominees for consideration for the 2022 national and local elections.

Lacson earlier declined the 1Sambayan's invitation.

"I never considered Senator Lacson as part of the opposition. Because in major policies of Mr. Duterte, hindi ko naman siya nakita sa tabi ko nung nilalabanan ‘yong iba't ibang isyu na ‘yon (I never saw him by my side when I was fighting the various issues),” Trillanes said.

“In fact, in most of them, andoon siya (he was there). He was defending the Duterte policies. He may be criticizing every now and then some positions of Mr. Duterte, but in the major political battles, we didn’t see him in our ranks,” he added.

While recognizing that 1Sambayan convenors "have every right" to include whoever they deem fit, Trillanes maintained that the opposition ticket for next year's polls should be "anti-Duterte".

"It should be an anti-Duterte coalition. Because 'pag din-lute natin 'yang (if we dilute that) basic, common principle for unity, then papaano na tayo (what will happen to us)? Maliligaw na tayo (We will get lost), we would just be anybody...So there should be a basis for unity, and that should be, that we're against the policies of this Duterte administration," said the staunch Duterte critic.

"Otherwise, might as well join that queue in Malacañang for endorsement," he added.

Trillanes earlier announced his plan to join the presidential race as the opposition standard bearer should Vice President Leni Robredo decide not to run for the country's highest post.

Robredo has still not decided on her political plans.

Lacson, meanwhile, confirmed that he, too, is mulling to run for presidency although still undecided due to several considerations, including whether or not he can address the country's problems, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was not the first time that Lacson rejected statements about him supporting President Duterte's controversial policies.

In 2017, Lacson took exception to Trillanes' remarks calling the senators "cowards" and "lapdogs" of the administration for refusing to investigate issues against the President.

"I don't know where he is coming from and I'm not even sure if he is still rational in his thinking...He is so out of touch with reality, if not hallucinating too much," Lacson said of Trillanes then.