Lacson, Sotto offer ‘Council of Two’ synergy

Cecille Suerte Felipe - The Philippine Star
Lacson, Sotto offer âCouncil of Twoâ synergy
Philippine senator Panfilo Lacson (R) speaks next to his running mate senator Vicente Sotto III (L) after filing their candidacy for the country's 2022 presidential race, at Sofitel Harbor Garden Tent in Pasay on October 6, 2021.
Rouelle Umali / POOL / AFP

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential candidate Panfilo Lacson and running mate Vicente Sotto III will observe a “Council of Two,” a term to mean they will always consult each other for the good of the nation, if they get elected next year.

In a weekly “Meet the Press” forum yesterday, Lacson said he and Sotto have agreed to always consult each other in making decisions that would affect the lives of Filipinos.

“We agreed that if we get elected by block voting, we would have a ‘Council of Two.’ It’s better when the president and vice president are always in agreement,” Lacson said when asked by The STAR on how a Lacson-Sotto administration would have a better relationship between the two co-equal branches of government – executive and legislative.

Sotto earlier revealed that he was the one who actually convinced Lacson, his longtime friend and companion in the Senate, to run for the country’s highest position. He said he supported Lacson’s commitment.

“Imagine if Sen. Ping is elected president and executes the budget he has watched for over 18 years? It would be such a relief to our countrymen. This would be the answer to all our problems with money,” Sotto said.

Asked how a Lacson-Sotto administration would project a better relationship between the executive and legislative, Lacson said he and Sotto will be at an advantage in that aspect.

“That’s where we have a good advantage, especially with SP. I have never experienced, ever since I sat in the Senate, that the Senate president was not threatened with a leadership coup, not once,” Lacson said.

He added that Sotto is a master of consensus building. “He (Sotto) knows more than I do, he knows more than anybody how to maintain that relationship with the legislature without being too cocky or forceful.”

Both Lacson and Sotto also vowed to always “walk the talk” with the policy decisions they would make together while in office.

The tandem, which has a combined 83 years in public service with 42 spent in the Senate, was recently tagged by a top political strategist as the “strongest” pair among the aspirants in the 2022 national elections and appear to be the readiest to perform the duties of the country’s top two leadership positions.

One of the programs Lacson vowed to implement is his Budget Reform for Village Empowerment or BRAVE, which will be among the first policies to be implemented by his administration. Under this, Lacson said funds for local governments will go directly to them as opposed to the current system which is still channeled to various government agencies, thus causing further delays and cuts in allocations.

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