Robertzon Ramirez – The Philippine Star
October 7, 2021 | 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Vicente Sotto III filed yesterday their certificates of candidacy (COCs) for president and vice president, respectively, offering their long track record of public service and vowing to restore the dignity and self-respect of Filipinos.
Lacson is standard bearer of Partido Reporma while Sotto is running under the Nationalist People’s Coalition, which he heads. They are running as a tandem under the banner of “Katapatan, Katapangan, Kakayanan” and their senatorial slate will come from not only both parties but other political groups as well.
“I’ve never accepted any bribe in public service. A corruption-free brand of leadership is our strongest weapon against syndicates in and out of the government,” Lacson said in Filipino after filing his COC.
The senator, a former chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and presidential assistant for rehabilitation and recovery during the Aquino administration, reiterated his leadership will include a disciplined bureaucracy and the proper use of the national budget to benefit all Filipinos, especially those in remote areas.
“It is only proper that we prioritize the greatest number of Filipinos,” he said, adding it is time for Filipinos to get back their dignity and self-respect, but this should start with their leaders.
“When the leaders are competent and well-respected, the ordinary Filipino wins,” he said.
Sotto said he and Lacson are offering themselves now to the people to hold the reins of the executive department.
“We know the ills, we know the solution. Balance the budget, budget reform, bring the money to the people and enhance the fight against illegal drugs by more emphasis on demand reduction strategy,” Sotto said. “Victory can only be achieved through God’s grace. We choose to trust Him every step of the way,” Meanwhile, Senators Miguel Zubiri and Joel Villanueva and former public works secretary Mark Villar filed yesterday their respective COCs for senator in the May elections.
If reelected, Villanueva said he would continue working for the Filipino people by crafting laws that will protect the welfare of Filipinos amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Zubiri said he wants to serve the Filipino people again, emphasizing he still has a lot of things to do in the Senate, including shepherding the passage of Bayanihan 3 to help workers and employers affected by the pandemic.
Zubiri touted his perfect attendance, the laws he sponsored and co-sponsored, his three terms as majority leader during the 14th, 17th and 18th Congress and for being free of links to corruption. He is running as an independent.
Villar did not say anything about his plans nor did he grant an interview with media. He immediately went to the exit after filing his candidacy under the Nacionalista Party.
A person with special needs, Paolo Capino, also filed his COC for senator under Partido Reporma. If elected, Capino said that he will push for laws that would make the lives of persons with disability more comfortable.
A total of 84 aspirants for national positions in the May 2022 national and local elections filed their certificate of candidacy yesterday at the Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City.
More COC filers
Former defense secretary and national security adviser Norberto Gonzales yesterday filed his COC for president under the Partido Demokratiko Sosyalista ng Pilipinas (PDSP).
Gonzales said he is running for president to change the country’s current political system because leading the country requires the right system and the right leaders.
Labor leader Leody de Guzman also filed his COC for president in the May polls.
De Guzman said that the current status of the country’s workers prompted him to seek the presidency as their concerns always fall on deaf ears.
He said the unfair treatment of Filipino workers should stop through the amendment of some laws and policies.
Department of Information and Communications Technology Secretary Gregorio Honasan will again run for the Senate.
Honasan told The STAR in a text message that he intends to file his COC for senator on Friday, the last day of filing, upon which he would be deemed resigned as DICT secretary.
Honasan was elected senator in 1995 and was reelected in 2001, 2007 and 2013. He ran for vice president in 2016 but lost.
Makati City first district Rep. Monsour del Rosario, former Quezon City mayor Herbert Bautista and action star Robin Padilla also filed their respective COCs for senator.
Running under the Partido Reporma, del Rosario said that his nine-year experience in public service and the bills he passed and laws he sponsored are his best assets to winning the senatorial race next year.
For his part, Bautista said his senatorial ambition would be his latest attempt to venture into politics since stepping down as mayor of Quezon City. Bautista, of the Nationalist People’s Coalition, said that it is about time to serve the Filipino people.
Padilla will be running under the PDP-Laban faction of Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, who administered the party oath to the actor on Tuesday.
More lawmakers have also filed their certificates of candidacy as they seek reelection and return to the House of Representatives in the 19th Congress.
Deputy Speaker Neptali Gonzales II filed his COC before the local office of the Comelec in his lone district of Mandaluyong City, while Rep. Eric Go Yap will no longer run under the party-list ACT-CIS, but in the lone district of Benguet.
Yap, a close ally of Davao City Rep. Paolo Duterte, sits as chairman of the House appropriations committee.
“I will relentlessly pursue the continuity of my compassionate and responsive programs to the needs of my constituents and betterment of Mandaluyong City in this time of COVID-19 pandemic,” Gonzales vowed.
Speaker Lord Allan Velasco filed his COC Monday before the Comelec in Boac town as he seeks reelection as congressman of the lone district of his home province Marinduque.
Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, chairman of the House ways and means committee, also filed his COC before the Comelec office in Legazpi City, where he is seeking reelection.
Laguna Rep. Sol Aragones – former broadcast journalist of ABS-CBN – will no longer be seeking reelection after having served three terms in Congress, but has filed her COC for governor of Laguna province.
Rep. Juliette Uy, of the second district of Misamis Oriental, has filed for governor of the entire province.
Reps. Joseph Cabatbat of party-list Magsasaka, Angelica Natasha Co of Barangay Health Workers and Rodolfo Ordanes of Senior Citizens party-list are also seeking reelection as first nominee of their groups.
Former congressmen Henry Ong of Leyte’s second district and Salvador Belaro Jr. of 1-Ang Edukasyon party-list have also signified their intention of seeking a comeback, after serving in the 17th Congress (2016-2019). – Delon Porcalla, Richmond Mercurio, Neil Jayson Servallos