IMUS, CAVITE — On the day the formal campaign period starts, Partido Reporma chairman and standard bearer Panfilo “Ping” Lacson gave his straightforward advise to candidates not to try debating about something if they can’t absorb the idea being talked about.
The veteran senator who spent five decades of his life in public service, said “if you don’t know about something, read. If you don’t understand what you read, ask. If you are asking, listen, and if you listened, but still can’t absorb the idea, don’t even try debating about it,” referring to politicians attending forums and interviews during election time.
Lacson and his running mate Vicente “Tito” Sotto opened their campaign blast in Imus, Cavite, the second vote-rich province where he was warmly welcomed by his “kababayans,” some of them waited for them in the streets on their way to the proclamation rally held at the Imus gymnasium in a sunny afternoon.
According to the former top cop, forums sharpen a politician’s skill as they face the public to present their thoughts or answer difficult questions during the election season.
To avoid embarrassment in joining a debate or discussion a candidate knows little of “patayin mo internet mo para hindi maintindihan sinasabi mo,” the longtime public servant jokingly said.
“Importante talaga mag-aral. ‘Di ba, sabi ko nga doon, ang kasabihan huwag kang sasabak sa giyera kung hindi ka handa. Mahirap ‘pag sinasalang ka doon. Angel, ikaw, sinalang mo kami, eh, mahirap ka rin magtanong eh,” Lacson said in an earlier interview with radio host Angelo Palmones.
The most experienced presidential wannabe has stood out in recent “head-to-head” presidential interviews with the other candidates in the May 9 elections, giving straight, no-nonsense answers to serious national issues while fending off old propaganda and fake news against him, like the Kuratong Baleleng and Dacer-Corbito cases.
According to a report on netizens’ perceptions following the KBP Presidential Forum last Friday, Lacson got the highest positive mentions at 24 percent and the lowest negative mentions at 18 percent, while 51 percent were neutral and 5 percent were unrated or undecided.