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Lacson claims Robredo camp asked him, Kiko, to drop for Leni-Sotto ticket; Gutierrez says no such move

Senator and presidential candidate Panfilo Lacson has claimed the camp of Vice President Leni Robredo asked him to withdraw from the 2022 race in exchange for his running mate Senator Vicente Sotto III to be Robredo's vice presidential bet instead of Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan.

"Sa akin may lumapit. Alam ninyo offer? Doon sa Pampanga. Alam mo ang proposal niya sa akin? Senator, kaya naming paatrasin si Kiko at ipasok si Senate President bilang vice president ni Leni basta mag-withdraw ka lang. I rejected [it]," Lacson said in a forum Saturday.

(Somebody approached me in Pampanga and the offer, proposal was, Senator, we can make Kiko back out and field Senator Sotto as running mate of Leni as long as you withdraw from the race.)

"Sabi ko, anong klaseng offer ‘yan? Sabi ko ilalaglag ninyo ‘yung kasama ninyo para lang manalo ‘yung principal ninyo? So, I rejected," Lacson added.

(What kind of offer is that? You will put your ally under the bus just for your principal to win?)

Lacson said these could be the same people who approached other presidential bets Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and Senator Manny Pacquiao. He said such move that reeks of arrogance.

"I don’t know what kind of offer was given to Mayor Isko but I heard na ganoon din may effort na para pag-withdraw-hin siya. Si Senator Manny Pacquiao nag-express na rin, may lumapit din daw sa kanila. Anong klaseng mga tao ito, ‘di ba? Arrogance has no place in a decent society," Lacson added.

(I have heard of similar efforts directed at Mayor Isko and Senator Pacquiao. What kind of people are these?)

Ibarra Gutierrez, Robredo's spokesperson, denied that their camp reached out to Lacson and other bets.

"What I can confirm and say with complete clarity is that this [effort to make Lacson and Senator Kiko withdraw] did not come from Leni-Kiko campaign team. There are no recent efforts to talk to him from our end," Gutierrez said in a CNN Philippines interview.

"This is not coming from us. There are no active efforts to actually try to talk to other candidates and bring them in," he added.

Gutierrez then said Robredo has always been clear from the start that she will only campaign for her running mate, Pangilinan, for the vice presidential race.

"I don't know where Sen. Lacson got his information but it didn't come from the Leni-Kiko campaign. We're focused on our campaign. We're open to talks but initiative will not come from us," he said.

"Senator Lacson should reveal who asked him to quit the presidential race," he added.—AOL, GMA News