Regardless of the outcome of the May 9 elections, independent presidential aspirant Sen. Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson and his vice presidential bet Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III will have left an indelible legacy: voters’ enlightenment.
Lacson and Sotto said Tuesday they believe they achieved this through the town hall meetings – all with dialogues or open forums – in the places that they have visited during the campaign.
“Come what may, maybe on May 9, 2022 – o sa mga susunod na eleksyon sa 2025, 2028, 2031 and beyond – baka yun man lang ang legacy na maiwan namin. Somehow, nag-contribute kami na mabago ang kultura ng eleksyon sa bansa, kung saan sa ngayon, kung sino ang magaling mag-entertain, magaling mambola ay tinatangkilik (Come what may, whether it is on May 9, 2022 or in future elections in 2025, 2028, 2031 and beyond, at least we will leave a legacy for the next elections by improving our election culture from the current one where those who know how to entertain and smooth-talk are the projected winners),” Lacson said at a press conference in Tagaytay City.
“Voters’ enlightenment, voters’ education. That’s all there is to it,” he added, pointing out that the town hall meetings give them a chance to feel the pulse of the people on the ground and offer solutions to their problems when possible.
This is in contrast to rallies which are “detached” because they allow only one-way communication from the candidates to the people.
Lacson said he and Sotto also hope that their town hall meetings will finally break the “traditional politics” that result in thieves or incompetents getting elected just because they know how to entertain the crowd.
He said they are hoping for the “silent revolution of the Filipino masses” where they can express their preferences for government by exercising their right to vote wisely.
“A lot is at stake in this exercise because ang laki ng problema ng bansa natin (A lot is at stake in this exercise because our country faces humongous problems). I hope we can create a new template in campaigning,” he said.
For his part, Sotto voiced hopes that groups that endorse candidates will base their decisions not on popularity but on track records.
“We can only wish that all the groups that are endorsing candidates will base it on track record and not based on surveys,” he said.