Raffy Tulfo to be part of Lacson-Sotto slate?

Senator Panfilo Lacson on Tuesday, Sept. 28, revealed ongoing talks with television and radio personality Raffy Tulfo about a possible Senate run and the latter's inclusion in their slate for the 2022 elections.

Television and radio personality Raffy Tulfo (Raffy Tulfo/Facebook)

"We're talking to Raffy Tulfo. We talked already, but 'yon nga, may mga nire-resolve pang ibang minor issues, mga concerns niya (there are still minor issues to be resolved, some of his concerns)," Lacson disclosed during an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel.

Tulfo on Monday denied that he would run for vice president next year, saying he has "utmost respect" for President Duterte. Duterte already signed his nomination by the PDP-Laban for vice presidency.

Lacson will be running for president in 2022, with Senate President Vicente Sotto III as his running mate for vice president.

Confirming Lacson's statements, Sotto later said they have "ongoing final talks" with Tulfo.

Aside from Tulfo, Lacson said they are talking to another Duterte ally and supporter, former agriculture secretary Emmanuel "Manny" Piñol, who supposedly relayed to them his plan to seek a Senate seat.

"He intimated his intention to also run for the Senate under our ticket," he bared.

Senate slate firming up

Lacson said their senatorial slate has started to firm up, although their list remains "tentative" until the candidates have filed their candidacies on October and have formalized their intention to run with them.

Senator Joseph Victor "JV" Ejercito of the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC) will also be part of their senatorial ticket, he said. Ejercito last Friday announced that he will run again for senator.

Returning senators and NPC members Francis "Chiz" Escudero and Loren Legarda will also be included in their slate.

"But then, nothing will prevent and we will not prevent them from being adopted by other political parties," Lacson said.

Previously, Sotto bared that they will also endorse the reelection of Senators Juan Miguel Zubiri and Joel Villanueva.

Sotto also said that former Vice President Jejomar "Jojo" Binay and Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan II will also be included in their line-up.

The vice presidential aspirant said they are still talking to "three others", whom he did not name.

Meanwhile, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, who also eyes vice presidency but only alongside Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, has yet to decide, Lacson said.

Asked about Batangas Representative Vilma Santos, who is reportedly mulling a Senate run, Lacson said they initially welcomed her inclusion in their slate, until Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto threw their support for the presidential bid of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno.

"Let's leave it at that...If she is supporting another presidential candidate, why would I adopt her?" Lacson replied.