4 presidential bets not backing out of Halalan 2022

Katrina Domingo and Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 17 2022 11:54 AM | Updated as of Apr 17 2022 05:34 PM

Presidential candidates (from left) Isko Moreno Domagoso, Norberto Gonzales and Panfilo
Presidential candidates (from left) Isko Moreno Domagoso, Norberto Gonzales and Panfilo "Ping" Lacson hold a press conference at the Manila Peninsula Hotel in Makati City on April 17, 2022. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (2nd UPDATE) — Four candidates asserted Sunday their respective decisions to seek the country's top post amid calls from some sectors asking them to back down, as latest survey results supposedly indicate a two-way presidential race between former Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. and Vice President Leni Robredo.

In a press conference, presidential aspirants Isko Moreno Domagoso, Panfilo "Ping" Lacson and Norberto Gonzales said they would not withdraw their candidacies for the presidency.

"Hinding-hindi kami magbibitiw sa kampanya. Ang bawat isa sa amin ay magpapatuloy sa aming mga sariling kandidatura upang maging karapat-dapat na pagpilian ng sambayanang Pilipino," they said in a joint statement read by Domagoso.

The Manila Mayor said Sen. Manny Pacquiao also signed the statement but he had yet to arrive at the press conference at a Makati City hotel at the time it was read.

A copy of the document released after their press conference showed otherwise. Instead, it additionally bore the signatures only of vice presidential candidates Sen. Vicente "Tito" Sotto III and Dr. Willie Ong, the running mates of Lacson and Domagoso, respectively.


Although, Ron Munsayac, executive director of Pacquiao's PDP-Laban faction, already said Saturday on Twitter that Pacquiao will not withdraw.


At the press conference, Domagoso, Gonzales and Lacson called out an unnamed contender whose camp has been allegedly urging them to withdraw from the 2022 national elections in exchange for money.

"Shinare nilang tatlo ang kanilang common experience na may kumakausap sa kanila na mag-withdraw, bibigyan ng pera, at mayroon pang budget," Lacson said, referring to the anecdotes of Gonzales, Pacquiao, and former presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella, who did not attend the press conference.

"Sabi ko, 'Teka muna, 'yan din ang napapag-usapan namin ni Mayor Isko'," the former national police chief said.

There are also efforts supposedly to snatch supporters from their camps, Lacson said.

"Bukod pa doon sa kinakausap, gusto pa kaming hubaran. They are trying to strip us of our support groups," the senator said.

"Nangyari sa akin sa Reporma, na hijack. Si Mayor Isko, 'yung kaniyang Ikaw Na sa Cebu," he said.

Lacson did not namedrop any politician, but last month, he resigned as president of Partido Reporma after the said party announced that it would be backing Robredo's presidential candidacy instead of the bid of its own standard bearer.

Earlier this month, Domagoso lost several volunteers from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, who also bolted to join Robredo's campaign.

A total of 10 candidates are seeking the country's top post on May 9.

Several analysts earlier said the 2022 presidential election has become a two-way fight between Marcos and Robredo, who also fought for the vice presidency in the 2016 polls.

Marcos topped Pulse Asia's March 2022 pre-election survey, getting support from 56 percent of respondents, while Robredo trailed in second place with 24 percent.

Domagoso ranks 3rd with 8 percent. Sen. Manny Pacquiao got 6 percent, and Lacson, 2 percent. Gonzales is in 10th place, with zero percent.

The Manila City mayor, though, emerged as the top second-presidential choice.


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