With the quiet, steely courage of a true warrior. This is how independent presidential aspirant Sen. Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson will continue his electoral bid in the second half of the campaign period, minus a political party.
Lacson said he is used to being a “mandirigma” (warrior) throughout his 50 years in public service, both as law enforcer and lawmaker.
“Being a ‘mandirigma’ in all my public service life is useful. I am used to being alone in a lonely crusade against a corrupt system for the past 50 years. Nonetheless I am going all-in and all the way. Once a warrior, always a warrior,” he said on his Twitter account Sunday.
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“I am used to starting a crusade – though it might be a difficult and lonely fight at first, the people would eventually see my point and join my cause. This is shown each time that my name has been put on the ballot, and the people have always renewed my mandate to serve them,” he added.
During his stint with the Philippine Constabulary and Philippine National Police, Lacson would go after criminal gangs and even those who engage in wrongdoing when transacting business with the PNP. He would reject offers of bribes and hush money, even if it meant incurring the ire of influential people – and even some colleagues who are on the take.
As Senator, he earned himself enemies by continuing his “No-Take” Policy and virtually taking up a lonely crusade in calling for the abolition of the pork barrel system due to its temptations for corruption.
Throughout all these, Lacson would answer the issues raised against him but would never stoop to personal attacks.
Last March 24, Lacson announced his resignation from Partido Reporma after some of its officials decided to endorse another candidate. On March 25, he disclosed that campaign expenses amounting to P800 million was the reason for Reporma’s switch to another bet.
But Lacson also earned the respect of many in the party, who expressed their continued support for his presidential bid.
On Saturday, leaders and members of Partido Reporma in Bohol province tendered their irrevocable resignations from the party to support Lacson’s presidential bid.
Now banding together as the “Lacson-Sotto Support Group” in Bohol, they pledged their “strong and continued commitment and unequivocal support” to Lacson’s candidacy. These include Jagna Mayor Joseph Rañola and former provincial police chief Edgardo Ingking; Joseph Sevilla (1st district coordinator); Eduardo Aranay (2nd district coordinator); and Emmanuel Solomon Duites (3rd district coordinator).
They said they chose to support Lacson “because we believe that we need a leader like him who has a clear vision on what he wants to do for our country and people and a clear plan based on science and hard data on how to accomplish it.”
“As a public servant who is proven to be incorruptible and one who leads by example, we need a leader like SENATOR LACSON who can tame the bureaucracy in embracing Good Governance and restore the full trust of the Filipino people back to the government,” they added.
Earlier, members of Reporma’s Cavite chapter similarly left the party to support Lacson. Meanwhile, senatorial bets Minguita Padilla and Guillermo Eleazar said they continue to support his presidential bid. Reporma founder and chairman emeritus Renato de Villa also expressed support for Lacson.