Members of Partido Reporma in Aklan and Antique continue to support the electoral bids of independent presidential aspirant Sen. Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson, even after he had left the party last March.
Lacson met with members of his former party Tuesday evening following a town hall session in Kalibo, Aklan. The Reporma members had requested the meeting, he said.
“Kaya kami pumunta ng Aklan and Caluya, meron kaming candidates doon, nag-request sila kung pwedeng puntahan ko sila. Ang Reporma (members), they continue to support me. Sabi nila kaya kami nag-Reporma because of you (This is the reason we were scheduled to visit Aklan and Caluya. Some candidates from Reporma asked for our presence. They continue to support me. They told me they joined Reporma because of me),” he said.
He added their support meant much to him, adding it further emboldened him and his vice presidential bet Senate President Vicente “TIto” Sotto III to continue with their campaign until the end.
“No retreat. No surrender. No withdrawal!” Lacson noted.
Last March, Lacson announced he was leaving Reporma after its president, Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, decided to shift support to another candidate. Many Reporma members at the time bolted the party to stick with Lacson.
On Tuesday, Lacson campaigned in Estancia (Iloilo) and Kalibo (Aklan) while Sotto was in Dumaguete (Negros Oriental). Both are expected to campaign together in Caluya Island in Antique and in Sta. Barbara, Iloilo on Wednesday.
Lacson received a hearty welcome from residents in Estancia, Iloilo upon his arrival there Tuesday morning. He paid a courtesy call to Estancia Mayor Melina Requinto, who he noted is supporting another candidate but referred to him as “President” after he presented to her and local officials his Budget Reform Advocacy for Village Empowerment (BRAVE) program.
“She was even egging the barangay chairmen who were present and majority (who were there),” Lacson noted of the mayor.
In Estancia, Lacson personally thanked his supporters and volunteers who chipped in to help residents affected by floods brought by Tropical Cyclone Agaton
He also detailed how BRAVE – his program of government that ensures funds for local government units from the provincial to the barangay level to get much-needed funds for their priority development projects.
“Yan ang essence ng BRAVE, kayo ang nakakaalam ng needs and priorities (That is the essence of BRAVE. You are the ones who know the needs and priorities of your constituents),” he said.