Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III has enumerated nine possible senatorial candidates that he and Senator Panfilo Lacson will support in the 2022 national 2022 national and local elections.
Sotto, who had just confirmed his and Lacson’s plan to run for vice presidency and presidency next year, said they will include in their senatorial slate their former and current colleagues in the Senate.
These include his partymates in the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), namely Senator Sherwin Gatchalian and former senators Sorsogon Governor Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Antique Representative Loren Legarda, and Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito.
“Of course, ‘yong mga kapartido namin, automatic ‘yon (Of course, we will support our partymates, it’s automatic),” said Sotto, who is NPC’s chairman, during an interview with ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo on Tuesday, July 20.
Department of Information and Communications Secretary Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan will also be part of their planned senatorial line-up, saying he was Lacson’s “BFF”.
Sotto added that they will “definitely” include reelectionist Sens. Juan Miguel Zubiri, Richard Gordon, and Joel Villanueva.
“Hindi kami maghihiwa-hiwalay ng mga ‘yon (We cannot be separated),” he said.
Sotto also disclosed on Wednesday, July 21, that former Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioner Goyo Larrazabal will be seeking a Senate seat and will be endorsed by their tandem.
Commenting on the pronouncement, Ejercito thanked Sotto for his inclusion in the tandem’s senatorial slate.
“It’s probably because we had a very good working relationship during the 17th Congress and probably my performance and unblemished track record was the main factor why I am being considered by SP (Senate President) Sotto,” the former lawmaker said.
Zubiri said he, too, is “honored and humbled” to have been endorsed by Sotto.
“Malaking karangalan po sa akin na maka kuha nang endorsement mula sa Nationalist People’s Coalition bilang senator sa kanilang line-up. At pangako po namin sa taong bayan ay itutuloy po namin ang performance-based public service at hindi pamumulitika lamang (It’s a huge honor for me to get an endorsement from the Nationalist People’s Coalition as one of the senators in their line-up. And we promise to continue a performance-based public service and not politicking),” Zubiri said.
Villanueva also said: “[I] Am so humbled and honored by the endorsement of [Senate President] Sotto and Sen. Ping.”
“[I] Am sure it is not just because we have this special bonding…but because they have seen first hand our commitment and dedication when it comes to the work expected of a legislator,” he added, thanking Sotto and Lacson.