Lacson, Sotto won't be part of 'united opposition' in 2022

Published August 5, 2021, 11:25 AM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

The meeting between Vice President Leni Robredo and Senators Panfilo “Ping” Lacson and Vicente “Tito” Sotto III may not have ended as the opposition had hoped, after all.

Vice President Leni Robredo and Senator Panfilo Lacson (Office of the Vice President/Senate PRIB)

This, as Lacson intimated on Thursday, August 5, that the opposition’s goal of bringing the “broadest possible unity” for the 2022 national and local elections might not come through on their part.

Robredo, he said, “resisted” his proposition for coming up with a single set of candidates to run against administration bets next year.

“The gist of the discussion was unification, put up a common candidate, if possible, against the administration. I offered her a sure unification effort or formula to unite in the end. There was resistance,” Lacson said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) when asked about his and Sotto’s recent meeting with Robredo.

“She resisted, hindi sold sa idea (she was not sold on the idea),” he added, without specifying his proposal.

“But it was a sure formula for putting up at least between the two of us, a common candidate, but unfortunately, she didn’t buy it,” Lacson continued.

He said the Vice President is “definitely” open to seeking presidency.

Lacson is dead set on running for president with Sotto as his running mate for vice president.

“We’ve gone far and deep into the ocean. So to go back, to turn back, parang medyo mahirap nang isipin (it’s already quite hard to imagine),” he said.

“Right now, I gave a commitment to my partner (Sotto), come hell or high water, itutuloy na namin ito (we will pursue this),” he added.

Sotto echoed Lacson, even if his partymate Senator Sherwin Gatchalian might become a rival for vice presidency.

“We were dead set on our programs, [we] are ready, we know we could be a good alternative, so we’re not thinking of the others who are going to file,” Sotto said.

Robredo earlier spoke about bringing together a united opposition ticket for the 2022 elections, saying she is open to making it possible even if this means not pushing through with her possible presidential bid.

On former senator Antonio Trillanes IV calling them enablers of the Duterte administration’s abuses, Lacson and Sotto said they only take such statements with a grain of salt. Trillanes strongly objected their meeting with Robredo

“Laging sagot ko (I would always respond to queries with), ‘no comment’. What for? Because commenting on such tirades cannot be productive,” Lacson said.

“I don’t know where that accusation was coming from.”

“It doesn’t mean that because I’m friendly with the President or that we usually follow the administration line on some pieces of legislation does not mean na kami nga ay ika nga (that we are, as he said), enabler,” Sotto added.

The two have since maintained that their tandem would be the public’s “alternative” in the upcoming polls, saying they are neither pro-administration nor pro-opposition.

They will formally announce their bid for the country’s highest national posts on September 8.