The tandem of Senator Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Vicente Sotto III is eyeing to endorse 14 candidates under its Senate slate for the 2022 polls.
Lacson, who is seeking the presidency, said he and his vice presidential running mate, Sotto, are considering to adopt 14 senatorial candidates instead of limiting their slate to only 12.
“We are thinking of adopting all 14 because we have candidates from Partido Reporma. We also have candidates from the NPC (Nationalist People’s Coalition) chaired by the Senate President, but there are candidates coming from different political parties and most of them are either incumbent senators or [returning] senators and these are our colleagues one time or the other,” Lacson said during Thursday’s Pandesal Forum.
“Ang initial plan namin [Our initial plan] is to adopt all 14 and we are only adopting them and we will campaign because we feel that they are the ones qualified to go to be elected as senators of the Republic,” he added.
According to Lacson, Senators Sherwin Gatchalian and Richard Gordon are the “latest addition” to their slate.
Gordon earlier said he was looking into running for president in 2022 while Gatchalian was eyeing the vice presidency. Both ended up filing their candidacies for reelection to the Senate.
“Sobra [ang nasa slate namin] pero mabuti nang sobra kaysa kulang kulang. After all, this is democracy kung piliin man namin ang labing apat, at the end of the day, iwanan namin sa Filipino people sa electorate, kung sino ang pipiliin nilang labing dalawa,” Lacson went on.
(We have more than what is needed but it’s better to have more than have less. After all, this is democracy and while we choose to adopt 14, at the end of the day, we will leave it to the Filipino people to choose which 12 they will pick.)
“But as of now, wala kaming nakikitang masama o mali kung 14 ang aming ipu-pursue kasi naniniwala kami sa kanilang 14, but at the end of the day the electorate will choose the final 12,” he added.
(But as of now, we do not see anything bad or wrong if we will pursue 14 because we believe in those 14 candidates but at the end of the day the electorate will choose the final 12.)
Aside from Gatchalian and Gordon, Lacson also named some of the senatorial bets under their slate: former Senators Francis Escudero, Loren Legarda, and JV Ejercito, as well as returning Senators Juan Miguel Zubiri and Joel Villanueva.
Lacson said a “surprise” candidate will also be announced in the coming days.
“Pero locked in. Ibig sabihin talagang sasama siya sa amin bilang isang candidate for the Senate [But that candidate is already locked in. This means that candidate will really be a candidate for us for the Senate],” he added.
Lacson, however, noted that their Senate slate will be finalized after November 15, the deadline for possible candidate substitution.