Lacson and Sotto Explain Why They're 'Going Soft' on Their Rivals
Senator Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Thursday they were not "playing safe" by refusing to engage in mudslinging that has defined election politics in the Philippines.
Lacson and Sotto, who are running for president and vice president respectively, have committed not to respond to the remarks of their fellow candidates, saying they wanted to elevate the level of discussion in the 2022 elections.
"No, never. We're not in the business of playing safe," Lacson told reporters, in response to a question.
"Ang gusto lang namin, itaas yung antas ng kampanya. Kasi kung mauuwi tayo sa gutter politics, ang pag-uusapan natin lagi ay yung paninira sa kapwa mga competitors," he said.
"Ang sinasabi ko nga, hindi naman sila ang kalaban natin dito. Ang kalaban natin dito, kahirapan, katiwalian. So we stick to issues," he added.
Lacson said his public service record would show that he was tough on issues when he had to, especially when it comes to scrutinizing the national budget. The former police chief has been dubbed as the budget watchdog due to his keen eye on illegal insertions.
"Hindi dahil sa namumulitiko tayo ngayon ay we go soft on our counterparts. We have always been consistent. At sa dami ng problema natin, bakit tayo mag-eengage sa mudslinging? Ang tignan natin ay yung problema ng bayan," he added.
Sotto said they would rather comment on issues that involve their work as legislators, not on mere statements of politicians.
"Kung yung ibang kandidato, may ginawang hindi mo gusto o hindi naaayon sa style mo, bakit makikipintas ka agad? Pangit e. Bahala sila kung gusto nilang gawin yun pero hindi talaga namin ginagawa yan," he added.
The Lacson-Sotto ticket is the first tandem to be confirmed for the 2022 elections. If they win, they said they would push for a government that practices leadership by example.
This story originally appeared on Reportr.World.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.