MANILA – Sen. Panfilo Lacson does not intend to ask any of his fellow presidential candidates to withdraw from the May 9 and hopes they will do the same.
In an ambush interview after a press conference at The Peninsula Manila Hotel in Makati City on Sunday, Lacson distanced himself from the “Leni withdraw” call of rival and outgoing Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso.
He said withdrawing is a personal decision.
Domagoso and Lacson narrated anew previous attempts from the camp of Vice President Leni Robredo to make them back out and unite to support their fellow candidate.
“We have to clarify, kaming dalawa ni Senate President (and running mate Vicente Sotto III), ang message namin sa presscon na ito, we are not asking anybody to withdraw. Ayaw din namin na mananawagan sila na mag-withdraw kami in the same manner (We have to clarify, I and the Senate President, our message in this press conference is we are not asking anybody to withdraw. We also do not want anybody to call for our withdrawal in the same manner),” he said.
Domagoso’s running mate, Dr. Willie Ong, and former National Security adviser and Defense secretary Norberto Gonzales also joined the media event that reiterated their common stand to fight electoral sabotage.
Lacson likewise rebutted several leading questions from the media that the press conference was anti-Robredo.
Rather, they sent the core message that the public should not believe and spread fake information, like their alleged withdrawal.
“’Yan ang dominant na messaging nila, parang kino-confuse. Maraming nagtatanong nga sa amin na totoo ba na magwi-withdraw si Senator Ping. We have to correct over and over and over again. Nagsasawa na rin kami kaka-correct kaya mabuti na rin itong nangyari, once and for all (That is their dominant messaging that seems to confuse [the public]. Many are asking us if it is true that Senator Ping will withdraw. We have to correct over and over and over again. We are getting exhausted correcting it that’s why it is good that this [the press conference] happened, once and for all),” he said.
Sotto said Domagoso urging Robredo to withdraw was his personal opinion, as the mayor himself underscored.
“Malinaw ang sinabi ni Mayor Isko. Sabi niya ‘personal ko lang ito ah‘. Hindi ba kayo nakikinig? Sabi lang niya ako lang ito, hindi sila kasali dito. Ganun ang sabi niya (The statement of Mayor Isko is clear. He said it was his personal [opinion]. Were you not listening? He said ‘it is just me, they are not included in this.’ That’s what he said),” Sotto said. (PNA)