IN a press conference called on Easter Sunday, presidential candidate Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson expressed he has had enough of divisive politics that has torn the nation apart for so many years, as he appealed to the Filipino electorate to consider other public servants who are equally worthy of their votes.
Lacson and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno said the entry of Vice President Maria Leonor ‘Leni’ Robredo in the 2022 presidential race, despite her earlier statements that she would not seek the presidency, did not help in giving Filipinos better options to lead the nation moving forward.
Lacson, Moreno as well as former Defense Secretary and National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales appeared in the said joint press conference to take a stand against the attempts by their leading opponents to ‘subvert democracy’ by turning the 2022 presidential elections into a two-way race.
Moreno publicly called for the vice president to withdraw if her supporters are so gung-ho about the idea of making a ‘supreme sacrifice.’ Lacson held a different view and asked his fellow aspirants to respect democracy by letting every qualified candidate have a chance at leading the country.
“We’re not asking anybody to withdraw. Ayaw din namin na mananawagan sila na mag-withdraw kami, ano, in the same manner. So, ‘yon, gusto ko lang i-correct ‘yung impression. Baka mamaya merong impression na itong press con is all about telling the vice president to withdraw—no, not at all,” Lacson explained in an ambush interview with reporters after the press conference.
Lacson underscored that pulling out of the presidential race is totally out of the question for him right now, as he is determined to seek the presidency in tandem with vice-presidential candidate Senate President Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto III.
“Just because dalawa lang ‘yung parating napag-uusapan, nai-itsapwera ‘yung ibang choices, ‘yung ibang options (only two candidates are being talked about, the other choices, other options are being sidelined). And that is also one of the main reasons why we are here. To remind our people that there are other candidates running equally qualified, equally competent, if not more competent, if not more qualified. Thank you,” Lacson stated.