'Cannot be trusted': Isko, Lacson hit Robredo for 'fooling' other pres'l bets during unity talks

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 17 2022 02:17 PM | Updated as of Apr 17 2022 08:02 PM

MANILA - Presidential candidates Isko Moreno Domagoso and Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Sunday said Vice President Leni Robredo "cannot be trusted" after she supposedly "fooled" some aspirants into believing that she wanted to unite the opposition and has no interest in vying for the country's top post.

"I was fooled also in the face by the Vice President. She said to my face, 1,000 times that she will not run for president," Domagoso said in a press conference at the Manila Peninsula Hotel, attended also by Lacson and another presidential candidate, former Sec. Norberto Gonzales.

"We were made to believe to unite, but we were fooled, literally in our face. That kind of person cannot be trusted," he said.

"Kung ganun pa lang, may masama nang intention from the very beginning, hindi agad puwede pagkatiwalaan," he added.

In 2019, Domagoso also said he had no plans to run for president, and in 2021, he also downplayed speculations he would run for a higher office.

Lacson, meanwhile, recalled that Robredo also approached him for a unified opposition candidate before the filing of candidacies in October 2021.

"Yung first meeting, ang concept, maganda, unification. Kaya nag-bite ako eh," he said.

But Lacson said Robredo rejected his "framework" for coming up with a single candidate wherein she would need to withdraw her candidacy if she trailed in the polls.

"Kung tinanggap niya 'yung first offer ko, baka wala ako ngayon. But then, she rejected it," Lacson said.

"You see kung anong klase ng tao yung nakikipag-usap ng ganiyan?" he said.

Lacson - whose Partido Reporma jumped to Robredo's camp last month - also questioned Robredo's character, saying some of her campaign staff were allegedly willing to drop her running mate, to gain more votes in certain provinces.

Robredo's people allegedly spoke to several local officials saying they can drop Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, if they could guarantee several votes for the Liberal Party chairperson who is running as an independent candidate.

"'Yung pumunta siya sa Davao del Norte alone, leaving her vice presidential candidate... that to me speaks a lot about her character," Lacson said.

"Ka-tandem niya, ilalaglag ninyo para manalo lang 'yung principal," he said.

Robredo has said she is standing by Pangilinan despite some camps matching her with other vice presidential aspirants.

Domagoso also blasted Robredo's camp for supposedly "conditioning the mind of the public" that chaos would ensue in the country should she fail to bag the presidency in the May elections.

ABS-CBN News journalists covering Robredo's campaign activities said they have not monitored such statement coming from the Vice President. A member of the media (not from ABS-CBN) brought up the allegation during Sunday's press conference.

"Bakit kapag natalo ka sa eleksyon, iisipin mo magkakagulo? Kasi wala kang respeto sa kapwa mo," Domagoso said in response to the question.

"Kung ano will ng tao, dapat suportahan natin. Hindi 'yung hindi pa nagdedesisyon ang tao, siniset na natin ang mind," he said.

The alleged statement that there will be public clamor and rallies should Robredo lose in the 2022 presidential elections is "irresponsible and uncalled for coming from the second-highest official of the land," Lacson said.

That only goes to show that Robredo and her camp "only love themselves," Domagoso said.

Robredo placed second in the latest Pulse Asia pre-election survey, after former Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. 

Domagoso ranked third, followed by Sen. Manny Pacquiao, and then by Lacson.

DE GUZMAN: PRESSCON BASED ON 'SELF-INTEREST'

In a statement on Sunday, labor leader and presidential bet Leody de Guzman also chided Moreno, Gonzales, and Lacson's press conference, saying that it was based on "self-interest."

"Ang mga maniobrahan ng mga tradisyunal na elitistang pulitiko ay nakabatay sa self-interest at walang katuturan sa pang araw-araw na mga problema ng masa. Hindi ako interesado sa ganitong mga laro," De Guzman said.

On the day of the press conference, De Guzman was campaigning in South Cotabato.

"Kami ng mga kasama ko sa Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) ay hindi mga trapo at hindi kami makikisawsaw sa burak ng kanilang bulok na pulitika," the labor leader added.

Meanwhile, in a statement released after the press event by Domagoso, Lacson and Gonzales, Robredo's camp rejected calls for her to withdraw, and added that they wish "every candidate who decides to push through to the end, only the best." 

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