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Lacson-Sotto to cut Senate slate to 10 bets

TAGUM CITY, DAVAO DEL NORTE —The tandem of presidential candidate Panfilo Lacson and vice presidential bet Vicente Sotto III on Friday said they will “confine” their Senate slate to 10 bets.

“The agreement last night between Senator Lacson and I is we will confine it to 10 at the moment,” Sotto told reporters in an ambush interview.

“Mayroon kaming 10 na sure na alam namin na pare-pareho ang thinking namin at kung meron man kaming gentleman's agreement ay sumusunod,” he added.

(We have 10 candidates who have the same thinking and are following our gentleman's agreement.)

After dropping their endorsements for re-electionist Senator Sherwin Gatchalian and senatorial candidate Herbert Bautista, there are only 13 senatoriables that are included in their ticket.

Sotto refused to name the three other bets which might be dropped from their slate, but he said he will give the names of the 10 senatorial bets who will stay in their roster.

In their previous interview, Lacson mentioned that they have checked the videos of re-electionist Senator Richard Gordon during the proclamation rally of another presidential bet as they received reports that the latter supposedly endorsed a presidentiable.

But after their review, Lacson said Gordon did not directly endorse the candidate although there was a remark which he perceived as “double meaning.”

Sotto had also disclosed that senatorial candidate and former Vice President Jejomar Binay has not communicated to them again for their campaign arrangements.

Lacson and Sotto previously said that the senatorial candidates would enjoy their endorsement as long as they would not “openly” endorse other presidential and vice presidential candidates.

The Lacson and Sotto senatorial slate is now down to 13: former Philippine National Police chief Guillermo Eleazar, Dr. Minguita Padilla, former Makati Representative Monsour del Rosario, former Senator JV Ejercito, former Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol, Antique Representative Loren Legarda, Sorsogon Governor Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Senator Joel Villanueva, former Vice President Jejomar Binay, former Information and Communications Secretary Gregorio Honasan II, Senator Richard Gordon, Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri and broadcaster Raffy Tulfo.

Meanwhile, Lacson and Sotto brushed aside Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla’s endorsement of presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and vice presidential candidate Sara Duterte.

“That's his choice to make. Kung ang gusto n’yang suportahan ibang kandidato, that's fine,” Lacson, who conducted his proclamation rally in his bailiwick in Cavite, said.

(That's his choice to make. If he wants to support another candidate, that's fine.)

Lacson then disclosed that before his proclamation rally, Remulla had committed to tell the mayors of the province to attend his campaign kickoff.

“He said that’s the least I can do to a friend, a good friend of my father. Actually, ang father n’ya (his father), we share a great great grandfather so parang (we are like) distant relatives,” Lacson said.

“But you know, I can’t prevent anybody for that matter to support or join another candidate in their sorties. That’s fine with me. Walang problema (I have no problem with that),” he added.

Citing his previous presidential elections experience, Lacson said he was able to get the most number of votes in his hometown, Cavite, even though the local government officials endorsed the “giants” namely former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Fernando Poe Jr.

For Sotto, the endorsements of local officials are good but he said they rely on the support of the people on the ground.

“Out of seven national elections that I’ve been involved in, lalo na nung panahon ni [Fernando Poe Jr.], ‘yung mga local officials, sinasabi nila we are endorsing ganito…’Pag tinatanong namin, sabi nila, ‘wag kayo mag-alala hindi namin kayang kontrolin ang mga asawa at kamag-anak namin,” Sotto said.

(Out of seven national elections that I've been involved in, especially during the time of FPJ, the local officials always say that they are endorsing a certain bet. However, they will also tell us that they cannot dictate the choices of their spouses and relatives.)

The Lacson and Sotto tandem went to Panabo City and Tagum City in Davao del Norte Friday to woo voters in Mindanao.

The events were organized by the local government officials, namely Davao del Norte Governor Edwin Jubahib and Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez.

Alvarez, a former staunch ally of President Rodrigo Duterte, currently sits as Partido Reporma president. Lacson is running for president under the said party.

Padilla, Del Rosario and Piñol joined the Lacson and Sotto tandem in their Davao del Norte campaign rallies.—LDF, GMA News