Lacson-Sotto team endorses 14 'deserving' Senate aspirants

Senator Vicente Sotto III said Friday, Oct. 16, that he and his running mate, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, have decided to include 14 senatorial candidates in their slate for the 2022 elections.

Senators Panfilo 'Ping' Lacson and Vicente 'Tito' Sotto III pose for a photo after filing their certificates of candidacy for the 2022 elections on October 6, 2021. (Office of Sen. Lacson)

Sotto released to media anew a list of candidates, who, for their tandem, "deserve to be in the Senate".

The candidates include Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC) members former senators Loren Legarda, Joseph Victor "JV" Ejercito, and Francis "Chiz" Escudero; reelectionist Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, as well as former Quezon City mayor Herbert Bautista.

Sotto chairs the NPC.

Meanwhile, Lacson's party mates in the Partido Reporma -- doctor Minguita Padilla, former congressman Monsour del Rosario and media practitioner Paul Capino -- were also assured of slots in their senatorial ticket.

The Senate President again mentioned reelectionist Sens. Joel Villanueva, Juan Miguel Zubiri and Richard Gordon, who were also endorsed by presidential candidates Vice President Leni Robredo and Sen. Manny Pacquiao.

Former vice president Jejomar Binay is also part of the Lacson-Sotto tandem's Senate slate.

They also listed two members of the Duterte Cabinet: Mindanao Development Authority Secretary Manny Piñol, who also jumped ship to the NPC, and Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Sec. Gringo Honasan.

Sotto did not immediately confirm if the list is official, but said these are the candidates who "they want to win" next year.

"Naniniwala po kami na ito ang mga kandidatong karapat-dapat sa Senado (We believed that these are the candidates who deserve to be in the Senate)," he said in a statement later.

It can be noted that the list no longer includes broadcaster Raffy Tulfo, who Lacson and Sotto previously met prior to filing his candidacy for senator as an independent.

On Thursday, Lacson told members of the media that a "surprise candidate" might also be included in their senatorial slate, although he refused to divulge any information on the person.