MANILA (UPDATE) — Partido Reporma standard bearer Sen. Panfilo Lacson and his running-mate Senate President Vicente Sotto III met with Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto for a courtesy call on Wednesday, as the tandem campaigned in the local chief executive's bailiwick.
Mayor Sotto, who earlier said he preferred not to meddle with national politics, met with the Lacson-Sotto tandem for about an hour, along with senatorial candidate Gringo Honasan and their staff.
The Mayor's father, actor Vic Sotto, and Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo were also present during the meeting at the city hall.
Lacson described their discussion with the 32-year-old mayor as a "meeting of the minds."
"Ramdam niya rin na ang plataporma namin umaayon sa kanyang ginagawa sa Pasig," the presidential candidate said.
(He feels that our platforms are in line with what he is trying to do in Pasig.)
"Kahit di expressly pinag-usapan kanina, meeting of the minds, iisa ang advocacy pati si Cong. Roman Romulo, ganun din. Sa pag-iikot din niya ganun din ang gusto ng constituents niya sa Pasig," he said.
(Eveen if we did not expressly discuss it, there was a meeting of the minds, a single advocacy we share even with Cong. Roman Romulo. He said his constituents in Pasig also like the same advocacy.)
The Lacson-Sotto tandem is running for the top two elected posts in the country with a promise to end corruption and push for a more transparent government, especially in crafting the national budget.
While the Pasig mayor did not explicitly endorse the pair, the Senate President said that the hour-long meeting with his nephew was "more than enough."
"The commitment was that we are very much accorded courtesy in our courtesy call. It says a lot of things," the Senate President told reporters after their city hall visit.
"Pinakamaganda na tinanggap kami ni Mayor Vico sa pagbisita sa kaniya (The best thing about it was that Mayor Vico personally received us during our visit)... It's more than enough. It says a thousand words," he said.
'VIC SOTTO AS CAMPAIGN MANAGER'
Lacson is the first 2022 presidential candidate the 32-year-old mayor personally welcomed and met in his office since the official start of the campaign period last February.
Last week, the Pasig Mayor sent City Administrator Jeronimo Manzanero to welcome presidential aspirant Sen. Manny Pacquiao in Pasig.
Sotto's staff told ABS-CBN News that the mayor was unable to meet Pacquiao as the local chief executive - who boasts of nearly 2 million social media followers - was in a virtual meeting with the city's Council for Culture and the Arts when the boxing champ arrived for a courtesy visit.
"Ang aming campaign manager sa Pasig si Vic Sotto," the Senate President said in jest, referring to his brother, who visited the Pasig City Hall a week before the Lacson-Sotto tandem's arrival in the city.
(Our campaign manager in Pasig is Vic Sotto.)
The veteran actor admitted that he brokered the meeting between his brother's slate and his son, who is known for shunning media interviews and several highly-politicized events.
"Si Vico anak ko, diba? So obvious naman," Vic Sotto said.
(Vico is my son, right? So it's obvious.)
"Tinanong ko lang kung saan maluwag, kung kailan maluwag ang schedule niya," he said.
(I just asked when his schedule is vacant, when he had some free time.)
But the Mayor's father noted that the meeting was a candid discussion and "nothing political" was brought up.
"Of course, hindi naman sila nagkakaiba ng mga adbokasiya, mga gusto mangyari sa gobyerno, gusto ayusin sa gobyerno," he said.
(Of course, they do not differ when it comes to advocacies, when it comes to what they want to happen to government, how to fix the government.)
"Kuwentuhan lang naman, nothing political. Kayo na ang bahalang mag decipher kung ano," he added.
(It was just a candid discussion, nothing political. It's up to you to decipher what it was.)
When asked if the meeting with Lacson and his uncle was indicative of a political endorsement, Mayor Sotto told ABS-CBN News Digital: "Hindi. Nag-promise ako e."
(No. I promised.)
In a separate interview, Sen. Sotto declined to say what his nephew and godson promised him.
"Secret," the Senate President said, while laughing.
Mayor Sotto is the executive vice president of Aksyon Demokratiko, which is fielding Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso in May's presidential race.
Domagoso has yet to campaign in his partymate's bailiwick.