Senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson on Thursday, October 7, maintained he will focus on own bid for presidency over his competitors.
Lacson repeated his previous statement when asked about Vice President Leni Robredo's announcement that she will run for president in the May, 2022 elections.
"We will focus only on presenting ourselves and our competencies to the electorate in an effort to get elected based on our own strengths, and not on the deficiencies of the others," he said, recalling his and Senate President Vicente Sotto III's agreement.
"We will rise on our own merits, and not to comment on our political rivals in the May, 2022 elections," he stressed.
He said this position is also part of his advocacy to raise the level of discourse of the campaign and deal with issues rather than personalities.
"We intend to keep it that way, even as we encourage our supporters to follow our lead," he said.
Lacson and Robredo previously met as part of the opposition's attempt to come up with a "broadest possible uniity" for the 2022 elections but the meeting did not end up as expected. The senator said he is determined to run for presidency.
Meanwhile, Lacson said that women will get "better opportunities to hold key posts in government" should he win the 2022 presidential race.
In a separate interview, he said gender equality will be "one of the highlights" of his presidency.
"Napakaraming magagaling na women leaders hindi lang sa ating bansa kundi sa buong mundo rin (There are so many great women leaders not just here but around the world)," he said in an interview on One News.
He also cited studies stating that men may be more prone to corruption than women.
But he maintained that key qualifications would still be performance, competence and integrity, regardless of gender.
"Sa akin ang laging tinitingnan ko ang competence, especially integrity kasi napakaimportante (As far as I'm concerned, I put a premium on competence, especially integrity)," he said.
Lacson filed his Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for president on Wednesday, October 6.