Lacson urges media: Educate the electorate

Published November 19, 2021, 5:31 PM

by Mario Casayuran

Partido Reporma chairman and standard-bearer Panfilo “Ping” Lacson appealed to members of the media to keep educating Filipino voters as the election season heats up.

Lacson said while the Fourth Estate need not endorse a particular candidate, it has to ensure that the electorate remains educated in choosing the right kind of leaders who will determine their future.

“Napakalaki ng role ng media sa pag-educate, ano. Hindi naman kailangan sila na mag-endorse o kaya magpahiwatig kung sino ‘yung kanilang napupusuan o kung sino ‘yung gusto nilang manalo. Pero napaka-importante talaga na ma-educate natin ‘yung electorate nang sa ganoon tumaya sila doon sa kinabukasan nila, hindi doon sa panandalian (The media plays a huge role in educating [our people]. They don’t need to endorse or give hints on who they prefer to win. But it is really important to educate our electorate so they can place their bets on their own future, not on something momentary),’’ Lacson said as he acknowledged the influence media still holds in shaping public minds.

Both Lacson and his running mate Senate President Vicente “Tito” C. Sotto III stood firm in their decision to mount an issues-based campaign, devoid of political gimmicks and mindless theatrics that most Filipinos were accustomed to from some politicians during elections.

“‘Yun talaga ang thrust namin ni Senate President, I=elevate ‘yung level ng discourse papunta sa mga issues kasi hindi biru-biro… Extraordinary times tayo ngayon. Meron tayong pandemya (That has been my and the Senate President’s thrust, to elevate the level of discourse towards issues, because it’s not a joke… [We are living under] extraordinary times right now [because of] the pandemic),’’ the incumbent senator and presidential aspirant emphasized.

Lacson even mentioned that he and Sotto deliberately refused to sing and dance on stage during their public gatherings because they expected that their audiences went to see them to be informed of the issues, and listen to their solutions, not to get some entertainment value.

“Dahil ‘pag seryoso ang problema, dapat seryoso rin ‘yung mga lider, at seryoso rin ‘yung pananaw ng ating mga kababayan. I hope we succeed in this effort. Unti-unti naman, maraming napapansin namin na talagang sumusunod at nakikinig doon sa mga issue (Because if our problems are that serious, we need serious leaders with serious perspectives from our people. I hope we succeed in this effort. Gradually, we are noticing that there are those who have been following and listening to the issues).’’ Lacson said.

The veteran lawmaker reiterated that he does not encourage vote-buying and is relying on the members of the media to instill in the minds of the public the pitfalls of tolerating or engaging in such behavior.

“Tatanggap ka ng isa, dalawang libo, isang araw lang ‘yun e o dalawang araw. E ang nakataya doon ‘yung susunod na anim na taon ng buhay ng bawat Pilipino. So, ‘yun lang ang maipapakiusap ko sa mga kaibigan natin sa media. Sana mag-ambag sila by educating our people in this regard (You accept P1,000 or P2,000, which would only be good for a couple of days, but what is at stake will be the next six years in the lives of every Filipino. So, that’s my only appeal to our friends from the media. I hope they can contribute by educating our people in this regard),’’ he added.