Lacson mulls presidential bid in 2022, says he will only run with Sotto as his VP

Bella Perez-Rubio - Philstar.com
Lacson mulls presidential bid in 2022, says he will only run with Sotto as his VP
Senate President Vicente Sotto III joins Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson in a hybrid hearing on several measures on the retirement and pension of incoming military and uniformed personnel Thursday, May 20, 2021.
Alex Nueva España / Senate PRIB

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Tuesday said he will either retire from politics or seek the presidency again in 2022, this time with Senate President Vicente Sotto III as his running mate. 

Lacson in a press briefing told reporters that he is still undecided on launching a campaign for the country's highest post, claiming he had no "appetite" for politics when Sotto first asked him to run together a few months ago. 

Nevertheless, he said he and Sotto are currently "consulting with experts" to "measure their capacity to solve the country's problems," ahead of their potential candidacies. 

The Senate president, he added, is "more determined" to seek the vice presidency because he has already chosen his advocacy. "[Sotto's goal] is very simple...[he just] wants to show that it is possible to solve the problem of illegal drugs," he said in Filipino. 

"What is holding me back is the present situation in the country. There are so many problems. The first question those planning to run is: Can they solve the problems [of the country]?" 

Among the problems he cited were the West Philippine Sea, the pandemic response, and the growing national debt.  

The senator also owned being discouraged by the results of surveys, mostly topped by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, but noted that past presidents were not leading electoral polls around this time but still managed to emerge victorious months later. 

He also said that while he is open to joining a coalition, he is only willing to run with Sotto as his vice president because they are "like-minded" in areas such as peace and order. 

Lacson rejects 1Sambayan invitation

The senator told reporters that he received an invitation from opposition coalition 1Sambayan to attend one of its events on June 19 but chose not to attend as the Carpio-led coalition has already ruled him out as a possible candidate over his authoring and sponsoring of the widely-assailed Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020. 

The former national police chief-turned senator ran for the country's top post in 2004 but trailed after former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the late Fernando Poe Jr. 

Sotto may no longer seek reelection to the Senate next year due to term limitations. If he decides to run for the vice presidency, he may face President Rodrigo Duterte who is being urged by the ruling PDP-Laban to run for the country's second-highest post and choose his own running-mate. 

Lacson is eligible to seek one more term as senator. If he decides instead to gun for the presidency, he could face Vice President Leni Robredo as well as Sara Duterte, both of whom have yet to confirm their plans for 2022. 


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