Lacson Rejects Toxic Politics in Presidential Campaign
Senator Panfilo Lacson said Thursday he was seeking to raise the level of campaigning in the Philippines by focusing on what he can offer to the people rather than picking on his opponents.
Lacson, once criticized on national TV by President Rodrigo Duterte for his hairstyle, formally launched his presidential bid on Wednesday. The senator said he and his vice presidential running mate, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, would run on their own merits.
"We won't delve or discuss the qualifications or disqualifications or whatever weaknesses the other candidates have. Kasi we want to raise the level of the campaign," Lacson told ANC in an interview.
"Nag-usap kaming dalawa, i-present na lang natin what we can do. Let's not put down other candidates," he added.
Lacson is the first presidential hopeful who confirmed his candidacy for the upcoming elections.
While no other personality has officially announced a presidential bid, Lacson could be running against Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, Vice President Leni Robredo, Senator Manny Pacquiao, and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno.
Sotto will be facing President Duterte, who accepted the nomination of his partymates in PDP-Laban to run for vice president.
"When the campaign really starts, lalabas din ang mga issues. But we'd rather present ourselves kung ano yung pwede naming gawin in the next six years," Lacson said.
During the official launch of his presidential bid, Lacson stressed the need for the country's next leaders to lead by example.
"No leader can succeed if he cannot practice what he preaches. Kailangan natin ng leader na ang tama ay ipaglalaban at ang mali ay lalabanan," he said.
Sotto earlier said that whoever he will face in the vice presidential race, even Duterte himself, does not matter to him.
"I will not look at who are the other candidates who are running," he said. "Okay lang kahit sino ang tumakbo. Siguro naman meron din silang programang ipe-presenta."
Lacson earlier joined and was elected as chairman of the revived Partido Reporma, saying that his advocacies were well-aligned with those of the party.
The filing of certificates for candidacy in the 2022 elections is set for Oct. 1 to 8.
This story originally appeared on Reportr.World. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.