By Ernie Reyes
CEBU CITY, Cebu—Partido Reporma chairman and standard-bearer Panfilo “Ping” Lacson and his running mate Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III are both feeling no pressure despite the challenges they are facing to win voters on their side in the runup to the 2022 national elections.
In a press conference held at one of their campaign headquarters in Banilad here, Friday (December 10), the veteran political tandem said observing health protocols while conducting public gatherings continues to be a problem for their camp but they still choose to take the high road.
The Lacson-Sotto presidential duo visited Cebu and Naga cities in this vote-rich province to hold a series of consultation meetings with local government officials, business community, and residents as part of their ongoing preparations ahead of the 2022 polls.
In Naga City, where their “Online Kumustahan” was held, organizers accommodated around 1,500 people to meet with the presidential and vice-presidential aspirants. Hundreds more had to listen to them outside the venue following strict social distancing protocols.
While the Lacson-Sotto presidential tandem is finding it increasingly challenging to reach their target audiences amid such restrictions, they refuse to change their tack, taking all the necessary precautions instead so as not to risk having a superspreader event.
“Kami mine-maintain namin ‘yung disiplina not only for whatever reason, kundi ayaw naming mag-contribute pa, kasi pababa na nang pababa ‘yung positivity rate natin, tapos tayo pa ‘yung makakalikha ng pagtaaas ulit, pag-spike ulit e ‘yun ang iniiwasan namin,” Lacson explained during their ‘Meet the Press’ forum in San Juan City last Thursday.
[We are just maintaining our standard level of discipline, not only for whatever reason, but we just don’t want to contribute (to the number of COVID-19 cases) because our positivity rate has been declining. We want to avoid being the cause for it to spike again.]
Sotto echoed the same sentiments. It is the reason he and Lacson stood firm over their decision to refrain from doing motorcades and other visual optics that may cause inconvenience to the public, especially when the official campaign period has not yet started.
“What is our greatest challenge in this campaign? Our biggest challenge in this campaign is to inform the people of our narrative; inform them of our programs; inform them of what we stand for, our track records, and what we plan to do for the country,” Sotto told reporters in Cebu. (ai/mtvn)