Just because he is running for President doesn’t mean he will change his principles to woo more voters or supporters, Partido Reporma chairman and standard-bearer Sen. Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson said Thursday.
Stressing that he will stand his ground on his principles despite the pressures of politics, Lacson said predictability and stability were actually good traits to have – in politics, business, and life in general.
In a hybrid “Meet the Press” conference with reporters at the Lacson-Sotto headquarters in Greenhills, San Juan City, Lacson and vice-presidential bet Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said their stance on principles first over politics will not change however the race to the May 9 polls may take shape.
Lacson said his principles and advocacies, especially against corruption are non-negotiable, even if this means not getting support in his political endeavors.
“Hindi ko mapapalitan ang position ko. Ngayon [pa ba] ako magpapalit just because I’m running for President, I’ll please everybody? I’ll stand my ground (I will not change my principles. Am I going to do that to please everybody just because I’m running for President? I’ll stand my ground),” he said.
This was after the Lacson-Sotto duo were peppered with questions about their decision to let go of guest senatorial candidates Herbert Bautista and Sherwin Gatchalian for endorsing other presidential candidates.
“Kami may sariling sinusundang baseline principles sa buhay namin ‘di lang sa eleksyon (We have baseline principles that we follow in life, not just in the elections),” Lacson added.
Among the principles the former national police chief adheres to are honesty, integrity, loyalty, dignity, and self-respect – all of which were taught to him by his parents.
Lacson said he will stand by these principles even if this means not being supported by others, including some senatorial candidates, who choose to “embrace a different set of advocacies and principles.”
“We respect their decision but we also have to respect our own standards. One day lang ang election (The election is only one day). After that, we can still be friends if they so choose,” he said.
Also, the three-term senator pointed out he may have made enemies in politics due to his stand against corruption owing to the misuse and abuse of the pork barrel system.
Lacson said he already explained his stand to the members of the Nationalist People’s Coalition and National Unity Party, which are allied with Partido Reporma.
“I already explained to them. I’m not against pork per se, ilagay lang sa ayos (just use it properly). I remain proud of my position because that has been my advocacy. Anti-corruption talaga ako. Hindi ko mapapalitan ang position ko,” he said.
Sotto agreed with Lacson, adding the actions of some candidates who are no longer with their camp and are endorsing other candidates is “very enlightening to the voters.”
“This could be a blessing in disguise as far as the perspective of the voters are concerned. Makita mo sino may loyalty at wala, sino ang maasahan at wala (You see who are loyal and dependable, and who are not) … It’s very enlightening to the voters. We will stick to those who we think we’ll endorse,” he said.
In the meantime, Lacson said he and Sotto will continue to explain to the people their platform of government – to fix the ills of government to improve Filipinos’ lives (Aayusin ang Gobyerno, Aayusin ang Buhay ng Bawat Pilipino) and to go after thieves, especially those in government (Uubusin ang Magnanakaw).
Regardless of the outcome of this year’s elections, Lacson said he and Sotto hope they have enlightened voters to be serious in discussing the humongous problems facing the nation, instead of falling for “entertainment politics.”
“Maski anong mangyari sa 2022, naka-contribute kami sa edukasyon ng botante na tumingin sa seryosong bagay… Sana mamulat ang ating kababayan na huwag maging short-sighted (No matter what happens in the 2022 elections, I hope we contributed to the education of our voters, so they look at our problems seriously. I hope our people have been awakened instead of being short-sighted),” he said.