MANILA - San Miguel Corp President Ramon Ang has declined offers to be the standard bearer of the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC) in the upcoming 2022 elections, his partymate Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Monday.
Sotto said he was among those who have been urging Ang to run for president since last year.
"Sabi niya sakin, 'It's a demotion,'" Sotto told reporters in an online press conference.
(He told me, "It's a demotion.")
"Pabiro niyang sinagot 'yun pero kita ko naman na hindi siya interesado," he said.
(He said it in jest but it was obvious that he wasn't interested.)
"Palagay ko it's final na... sarado na ang usapan na 'yun," he said.
(I think it's final... that conversation is over.)
While the NPC has yet to formalize its line up for the 2022 national elections, Sotto confirmed he and Sen. Panfilo Lacson were also being prodded to run as a tandem in next year's polls.
"May mga kumukumbinsi sa kaniya (Lacson.) May mga kumukumbinsi din sa akin pero hindi pa kami nakukumbinsi," he said.
(There are people who are trying to convince him. There are people who are trying to convince me but we are still unconvinced.)
"Wala pa, I cannot really decide. Nakikiramdam pa ako," he said.
(There is no decision yet, I cannot really decide. I'm still trying to get a feel of things.)
"Ayoko muna pag-usapan 'yun kasi nga politika... Mahirap ang pandemic e. Trabaho muna," he said.
(I don't want to talk about politics yet... The pandemic is giving us a hard time. We should work first.)
Sotto's and Lacson's term as legislators will expire next year as both lawmakers have already served 2 consecutive 6-year terms in the Senate.
The spike in new COVID-19 cases in the capital region and nearby provinces has pushed back political discussions within the NPC and other parties, Sotto said.
"Kung hindi tumaas yung figures, talagang papunta na sa pulitika ang usapan diyan," he said.
(If the figures did not increase, talk about politics would really begin.)
"Pero dahil tumaas.... baka makainisan ka pa 'pag pinilit mo ang pulitika," he said.
(But because there was a spike... you might earn the public's ire if you keep on talking about politics.)
Philippines on Monday recorded 8,019 COVID-19 cases, the highest daily tally recorded since the pandemic began in 2020. This brings the country's total cases to 671,792 as the government imposes new restrictions in the capital region and its four surrounding provinces.