Sen. Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Vicente Sotto III have officially declared their candidacy for President and Vice President in next year’s election.
Lacson will seek the presidency a second time after a failed attempt in 2004 while Sotto will run for vice president.
Both senators placed a premium on the more than 80 years of public service between them.
“We have the proven competence, integrity, and courage to lead the country so we can rise from the rut we are in,” Lacson said.
He criticized President Rodrigo Duterte who admitted at his last SONA that he was wrong to believe that governing a country would be just like governing Davao City.
Lacson said, “The country is drowning in debt, many lost their jobs because of business closures, the number of poor Filipinos has increased and so has the sector of people who have gone hungry.”
“Corruption is rampant, illegal drugs are still prevalent, parts of our territory in the West Philippines Sea are gradually disappearing.”
Sotto and Lacson belong to the Senate majority that has generally legislated according to the president’s agenda.
Lacson, who earlier declared himself as an independent politician, took over as Partido Reporma chairman in July. Reporma and the Nationalist People’s Coalition, chaired by Sotto, will soon be forging an alliance.
Lacson said he and Sotto “are in the process of drawing up a roadmap or a master plan that will serve as our platform of government that we intend to present to our people.”
Meanwhile, Sotto promised their campaign will center on trust. He took pity at the deplorable state of the economy and government’s ineffective pandemic response. He said the country’s “more serious problem is the loss of hope.”
“We need a country that values morality,” he added.