Presidential aspirant and senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson on Thursday bared the reason why he ditched the “unity efforts” among the opposition and it includes a meeting with Vice President Leni Robredo and Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon.
In a virtual media forum, Lacson admitted to feeling “insulted” after having a discussion with the opposition leaders for the second time saying he felt like he was being told to withdraw his candidacy.
The senator said he did not notice it himself but Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III later informed him of a supposed hand gesture from Drilon allegedly insinuating that Robredo and Sotto should form a new tandem.
“It’s like effectively, telling me in my face to withdraw and create a new tandem between the Vice President and the Senate President,” Lacson told reporters.
“When I was told that, I felt insulted. Had I noticed that when it happened I could have stood up and left that meeting,” he said.
“For me, it’s too insulting to say in your face that you should withdraw. No one can decide that except myself. No other person because it is my decision and it is not easy to process,” he added.
The said meeting, which happened amid the period of filing of certificates of candidacy, is part of the last-ditch efforts of the opposition to build a unified ticket in the upcoming polls.
But Lacson clarified that he has no intention of withdrawing his candidacy saying he had arrived in the “point of no return”.
“I told Sen. Drilon that ‘we have reached the point of no return.’ Because a lot of people have been involved and I mentioned some names, high profile and low-key businessmen even who already have contributed in our efforts,” he said.
He also said that the last minute made him realize that the “unity talks” is just a “scheme” to organize the opposition under them.
Drilon, for his part, said he does not recall making the hand gestures.
“The meeting was held as part of the effort of VP Leni to unify the opposition. I do not recall those hand gestures attributed to me, much less the interpretation accorded to it,” Drilon said in a message to reporters.