MANILA – Presidential candidate Panfilo "Ping" Lacson said he was "willing to share" running mate Vicente "Tito" Sotto III as a common candidate with PROMDI standard-bearer Manny Pacquiao.
Lacson also accepted House Deputy Speaker Lito Atienza's apology for publicly asking him to back out of the presidential race.
In a "Pandesal Forum" held Saturday, Lacson invited Atienza and Pacquiao to join their political rally in Quezon Memorial Circle, which he said would be the fora to "jointly proclaim the new unique team-up of Sotto being common vice-presidential candidate of both Sen. Ping Lacson and Sen. Manny Pacquiao."
"Atienza is willing to withdraw from the electoral race and hopes for Sotto to become the running mate of his presidential candidate Senator Manny Pacquiao, that is the only reason Atienza earlier suggested for Senator Ping Lacson to withdraw from the election race but Atienza expressed admiration for the character and leadership of Lacson," the forum said in a press release.
Atienza, who is recuperating from a surgery stemming from a foot injury, earlier said his weeks-long absence from the campaign trail has hit his election chances.
Pacquiao, meanwhile, said he remained open to a Manny-Sotto proposal, which was coined as "MaSo."
Atienza earlier said a switch in the presidential and vice presidential teams can change the election dynamics.
Presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. remains as the frontrunner in the Pulse Asia survey. But Vice President Leni Robredo posted a jump of around 9 percentage points in the latest results.
Pacquiao ranked 4th in the latest Pulse Asia survey, while Lacson is at 5th. The Lacson-Sotto tandem earlier lamented that surveys sway voters.