Robredo: ‘If we want only Senator Sotto, why did we meet with Senator Ping?’

Published October 16, 2021, 1:13 PM

by Raymund Antonio

It doesn’t make sense to Vice President and presidential aspirant Leni Robredo why there is an accusation from Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson that she and Senator Franklin Drilon made indirect gestures and insinuations to blindside him during their last unity meeting.

Vice President Leni Robredo (Mark Balmores/MANILA BULLETIN)

“Wala namang any need for that kasi kung mayroon kaming mensaheng ipapaabot na ayaw naming marinig ni Senator Ping, eh ‘di sana si Senator Sotto na lang kinausap namin (There is no need for that because if we have a message that we don’t want Senator Ping to hear, then we should’ve just met with Senator Sotto. Pero (But) we requested to talk to both of them…Kasi (Because) we could have easily just requested to Senator Sotto if that was the intent,” she said on Friday, October 15.

Noting that it was her who requested Drilon to arrange the meeting with Lacson, Robredo was confused at the accusation that there was an attempt from them to insult him.

“So kung ang sadya lang namin si Senator Sotto, bakit kami mag-a-arrange kay Senator Ping (If our intent is Senator Sotto, then why would we arrange a meeting with Senator Ping?) So, it doesn’t make sense,” she said.

Robredo added that she has been forthright in wanting a united opposition because she was the one who initiated all the talks with the other non-administration candidates for at least two months.

READ: Opposition’s unification plan only a ‘scheme’, Lacson says

The vice president wouldn’t have wasted her time if she wasn’t committed to finding commonality among the candidates.

Robredo also maintained that she never saw Drilon make the hand gesture that Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III apparently told Lacson about and that eventually irked the senator.

During their last meeting before they each formally filed their Certificates of Candidacy (COC), Drilon apparently, through hand gestures, motioned that they’re pushing for a Robredo-Sotto tandem.

Lacson said this was relayed to her by Sotto only after the meeting. If he noticed it, he would’ve walked out of the meeting because it was an insult, the senator added.

READ: ‘Too late’ for unity talks with opposition – Sotto

Robredo has been the subject of attacks by Lacson’s and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso’s camps after she formally announced her candidacy.

They are questioning her intentions for holding unity talks with them in the weeks leading to her Oct. 7 decision.