Sotto says NPC fully behind his VP bid; rejects report NPC is supporting UniTeam bets

Published April 3, 2022, 2:06 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Sunday refuted a report that the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) is supporting the presidential and vice presidential candidacy of former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, respectively.

Sotto, who is running for vice president in the upcoming May 2022 elections, is chairman of the NPC which was founded in 1992 by then presidential candidate Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco.

As fas as he is concerned, Sotto said the endorsement came from local leaders of the party in Tarlac and are not speaking in behalf of the NPC.

“According to a report that I got from our secretary general is that what Susan Yap said and even her brother were, their own. They are not speaking for NPC, they are not speaking for other leaders in the province because majority of the political leaders in Tarlac are NPC members,” Sotto said in a press conference.

“Tarlac has always been known as NPC country, which has recently declared the Danding Cojuangco day and si Ambassador Danding pinagkatiwala sa akin ang partido (entrusted the party to me) when he was sick,” he said.

“So, the Chairman and other political leaders of the party are the ones who are authorized to say who are we supporting. They should not speak for the party, they should speak for themselves. If they spoke for themselves, and then the news organization twist or slants it in favor of other political candidates ay hindi maganda yun. I think they should correct themselves,” added Sotto.

In a separate statement, NPC Secretary General Mark Llandro “Dong” Mendoza declared that the NPC leadership and the party itself is fully supporting Sotto’s vice presidential bid.

“We would like to clarify that the Leadership and the party is fully supporting our chairman, SP Tito Sotto for vice president. Thank you!” Mendoza said.

Sotto is the running mate of presidential candidate Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, ertswhile standard bearer of the Partido Reporma and who is now running as an independent candidate.

In the same press conference, Sotto reiterated that the NPC party is supporting and endorsing his candidacy but has “not yet decided on who our presidential candidate would be at the moment.”

The Senate leader said it can be said that the NPC is a “freezone” because it cannot arrive at a majority consensus since there are members of the NPC who are either supporting Lacson, Marcos, Vice President Leni Robredo and some supporting Sen. Manny Pacquiao and even Manila Mayor Isko Moreno.

Tarlac has been known as an opposition bailiwick due to its connection to the former presidents Corazon “Cory” Aquino and Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino’s family.

It was Governor Susan Yap and brother Tarlac Rep. Victor Yap, who both belong to NPC, who hosted the meet-and-greet with local and sectoral leaders organized for UniTeam and came up with a Marcos-Duterte endorsement on Saturday.