Partido Reporma standard-bearer Senator Panfilo ‘Ping’ M. Lacson said he does not mind drawing small crowds in his campaign sorties because it gives him the opportunity to learn about the stories of ordinary Filipinos from all walks of life who attend their gatherings.
“We discuss core issues that affect our people’s daily lives and we admit that there are always new lessons that we learn by listening to their stories and daily struggles. It is both humbling and heart-wrenching,” said Lacson in a statement sent Sunday.
Lacson’s campaign activities together with running mate Senate President Vicente ‘Tito’ C. Sotto III and some of their senatorial candidates in different cities and municipalities nationwide are normally highlighted by their town hall meetings with various sectoral organizations.
They deliberately avoid bringing celebrity guests with them because they want to discuss solutions about the day-to-day concerns of the people, not make them forget about their problems through entertainment, Lacson said.
“We opt not to have celebrity entertainers that are sure crowd drawers to perform in our sorties nor mobilization groups who know how to recruit and indoctrinate,” according to the longtime public servant
“Instead, we choose to listen and engage ordinary folks to educate and enlighten them and also learn from their yearnings and hopes for a better future for their children,” Lacson added.
He has earlier expressed his preference to conduct a presidential campaign that delivers on substance over style.
Among the topics of conversation that usually crop up during the Lacson-Sotto town hall meetings were the plight of low-income earners, mostly farmers and tricycle drivers, and how disconnected some state-funded social services programs are to the realities of their situation.
Lacson and Sotto are taking their Budget Reform Advocacy for Village Empowerment (BRAVE) agenda and proposed policies for good governance to the Cagayan Valley region this week with scheduled visits to the provinces of Isabela, Cagayan and Quirino.