MANILA—Sen. Kiko Pangilinan on Friday admitted that clinching the nation's second-highest office would be difficult amid a crowded field in the 2022 elections.
"Alam natin na hindi biro itong laban. Uphill battle ito pero talagang nasorpresa kami ni Vice President Leni sa dami ng lumalabas na sumusuporta," the vice-presidential aspirant told TeleRadyo.
Pangilinan, president of the once-ruling Liberal Party, is running in tandem with presidential candidate, Vice President Leni Robredo.
With only months away before Filipinos cast their ballots, he expects more local officials to make public their support for the Robredo-Pangilinan slate.
"Hindi pa sila naglalantad ika nga o lumalabas at nagdedeklara pero meron na tayong nararamdaman," he said.
"Alam mo, in the end, 'pag ang taongbayan na kasi ang tumataya at kumikilos, wala nang choice din ang mga lokal, karamihan diyan maga-adjust na rin ika nga."
In the latest Pulse Asia survey, Pangilinan placed third behind Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio (45 percent) and Senate President Vicente Sotto III (31 percent).
The poll showed that 12 percent of the respondents picked Pangilinan as their vice-presidential bet.
"Malaki ang ating kinakailangang habulin pero hindi imposible dahil nakita na natin sa nakaraan," he said.
Pangilinan noted that Robredo ranked behind in the 2016 elections but was eventually chosen by the Philippine electorate.
"Basta pursigido tayo. Sabi nga e, manlilimos tayo ng boto dahil talagang tao-tao ito. Every vote counts, every effort is precious," he said.