Senators Panfilo “Ping” Lacson and Vicente “Tito” Sotto III are not bothered by President Duterte’s reported acceptance of PDP-Laban’s nomination as its vice presidential candidate in the 2022 national and local elections.
According to a statement released by Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) group led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, Duterte has already accepted their endorsement for the Chief Executive to run for the country’s second highest national post.
Duterte is expected to confirm or deny this in his public address later on Tuesday, August 24.
“It won’t matter to my and [Senate President] Sotto’s determination to run in the May 2022 national elections,” said Lacson, who will be running for president next year.
“We have already declared and at this point in time, there is no turning back,” he maintained.
Sotto, who, if confirmed, will be Duterte’s rival for vice presidency, welcomed the announcement.
“That’s good to know so that we are not guessing. It does not affect my resolve, anyway,” Sotto said in a separate text message sent to reporters.
Sotto earlier said Duterte would be a formidable competitor.
Despite leading different political parties, Lacson and Sotto are bent on pursuing their election plans as they sought to solve the country’s problems following the COVID-19 pandemic. Lacson chairs the Partido Reporma, while Sotto heads the Nationalist People’s Coaliation (NPC).
The two are set to officially launch their election tandem on September 8.
“That said, we continue to hope that the electorate will not be swayed by entertainment politics nor affected by fear and intimidation when they choose our country’s next leaders,” Lacson said, reiterating his call to elevate public discussions for the 2022 polls.
“As long as the campaign runs on issues involving our people’s desire for good governance made possible by fixing a systematically broken government, we are good,” he added.