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‘Best man for the job’: David endorses Sotto’s vice presidential bid

Vice presidential candidate Rizalito David on Wednesday endorsed the bid of his rival Senate President Vicente Sotto III, days ahead of the May 9 national elections.

However, David clarified he is not withdrawing from the race.

"Yes I am," David said when asked in a CNN interview if he was officially endorsing Sotto.

"I am asking the Bishops, the priests, and all Catholics to support him because he is the best man for the job," he added.

"Una, he's a very decent person, he's a gentleman. In so far as all the candidates for the vice presidency is concerned, he is the most experienced among us in terms of governance," said David, who is the running-mate of presidential candidate Dr. Jose Montemayor Jr.

David said the Catholics and the pro-life movement "owed" Sotto a lot, who contributed to the rejection of laws legalizing same-sex marriage, divorce, abortion and euthanasia.

"To me that is most important, because he loves life, he is pro-life," David.

"He loves his family. He listens to his wife. He's a gentleman, he is a family man. Sa akin, kumbaga sa grupo namin na tumatakbo ngayon, siya ang may pinakamagandang record na dapat tulungan."

(In our group running for the vice presidency, he has the best record that should be helped.)

Despite his endorsement of Sotto, David said he is not backing out of the race.

"I am not withdrawing," he said.

David previously stated that he has no plan of withdrawing from the race despite his low numbers in recent pre-election surveys, as he called on other candidates do a “selfless act” to unify and form a grand coalition to defeat the tandem of former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.

Sotto thanks David

At a press conference in Ormoc City, presidential candidate and Senator Panfilo Lacson welcomed David’s statement, affirming that Sotto is the best person for the job.

“He is really the best there is. Kaya imagine a vice presidential candidate endorsing another vice presidential candidate. He must really be the best,” Lacson said.

However, the presidential candidate shunned the idea of calling David’s withdrawal from the race.

“That is his decision. Withdrawal is a personal decision. Kaya nga kami napipikon kapag [kami ay] pinagwi-withdraw, yung withdrawal iwanan mo sa tao. Huwag mo i-suggest,” Lacson said. (That's why we get irked when urged to withdraw; leave the withdrawal to the person. Don't suggest it.)

For his part, Sotto thanked David for his endorsement.

“I would of course be grateful to Lito David because I know him for being a very religious and very conservative person. Thank you very much for the endorsement,” he said. — with Hana Bordey/RSJ/BM, GMA News