Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson and Senate President Vicente Sotto III are mulling to carry 14 senatorial aspirants under their ticket in the 2022 May Elections.
In a virtual media forum on Thursday, Lacson explained that their tandem is not inclined to trim down their list into the so-called “Magic 12” because they believe that all of their senatorial bets are competent to lead the legislative body.
He added that they have close affiliations with almost all candidates, with some of them coming from their political groups in Partido Reporma and Nationalist Peoples’ Coalition (NPC) while others became their colleagues in the Senate.
“Our initial plan is to adopt all 14 and we are only adopting them. We will campaign (for them) because we feel that they are the ones qualified to be elected as senators of the republic,” the lawmaker told reporters.
“We have candidates from Partido Reporma and NPC which is chaired by the Senate president but there are also candidates coming from different political parties and most of them are either incumbent senators or comebacking senators and these are our colleagues one time or the other,” he added.
Lacson’s statement came days after Sotto said their tandem is still in the process of finalizing their slate after coming up with 14 names.
They unveiled an initial list earlier which included big names such as House Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, Sorsogon Gov. Chiz Escudero, former Vice President Jejomar Binay, former senator JV Ejercito and senators Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri and Joel Villanueva.
Lacson then said that additional candidates joined their ticket including reelectionist Senators Sherwin Gatchalian and Richard Gordon and Reporma Party’s Monsour del Rosario and Dr. Meggita Padilla.
He also hinted at having a “surprise candidate” whom he refused to name.
“As far as I’m concerned, everyone that we’ve talked with are all qualified and their platforms or advocacies are aligned with what I and the Senate President are pursuing,” he said.
“We may have a surplus but that’s better than lacking candidates. After all, this is democracy and it’s okay if we choose 14. At the end of the day, we will leave the decision to the Filipino people to choose who they will elect,” he added.
The Lacson-Sotto tandem is among those who are vying for the country’s two highest posts in next year’s elections.
They filed their candidacies for president and vice president, respectively, on 6 October and vowed to push for anti-crime and budget reform policies if elected.