Lacson, Sotto to be a 'neutral' tandem in 2022

Published July 21, 2021, 12:42 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

The upcoming election tandem of Senators Panfilo “Ping” Lacson and Vicente “Tito” Sotto III will not be campaigning against the Duterte administration but will be pushing for reforms that the current government failed or did not do enough.

Senate President Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto III (left) and Senator Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson (right) say prayers at the Barasoain Church in Bulacan before meeting Malolos city officials as part of their consultations. The two are mulling to run for vice president and president, respectively, in the 2022 elections.. (Courtesy of the Office of Senate President Sotto via Facebook/MANILA BULLETIN)

This was according to Sotto, who said they will be the “neutral” party in the 2022 elections.

“Tingin ko (I think)…we are the alternative. We are not pro-administration; we are not opposition. We are neutral,” he said in an interview with ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo.

“Hindi namin kokontrahin ‘yong magandang ginagawa ng kasalukuyang administrasyon. Kokontrahin namin ‘yong hindi magandang ginagawa o may mga kakulangan (We will not counter the good programs being implemented by the present administration. But we will criticize the unfavorable or lacking actions),” he explained.

The Senate President confirmed on Tuesday, July 20, that he and Lacson will be filing their candidacy for the 2022 elections.

Lacson will run for president, while Sotto will be his running mate for vice president.

While his political party, the National People’s Coalition (NPC), is allied with President Duterte, Sotto said they are not in alliance with the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), as well opposition groups.

In the radio interview, Sotto said they were driven by their “love of the country” and desire to push for reforms for the Philippines, particularly after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Saan ba papunta ang Pilipinas? Meron pa bang programang maganda para ika nga ay put the country back on track? At meron ba tayong programang magagawa na mas makakabuti para sa bansa? (What is the Philippines’ direction? Are there better programs to say, put the country back on track? And do we have the programs that will benefit the country)?” he said.

“Marami kaming nakikitang programa na dapat ipatupad. Nasa plano talaga ng gobyerno pero hindi nangyayari (We are seeing programs that should be carried out. They’re in the government’s plans but they are not happening),” he further noted, citing the administration’s vaccination program and pandemic response.

Budget reforms will also be part of their priority, he said.

Sotto maintained that they are not threatened by their possible rivals next year, even if the rivals will include the President himself.

He said they will only focus on what they would have to offer for the country.

The Lacson-Sotto tandem will run under the campaign slogan, “Kakayahan, Katapatan at Katapangan”.

“‘Yong laman ng programa namin, nakabalot lahat doon (All our programs are centered on that slogan),” Sotto said.