Lacson, Sotto distance selves from Isko's #WithdrawLeni call

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 18 2022 06:45 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 — Presidential candidate Sen. Panfilo Lacson and his running mate Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Monday clarified that they are not calling on anyone to withdraw, following their press conference at the Manila Peninsula Hotel on Sunday.

In a statement, Lacson called for respect as the May 9 elections near, particularly for voters.

“With the campaign period for the May 9 elections nearing the homestretch, it is not too late for candidates to show respect: Respect for one another, respect for the election process, and most importantly, respect for our voters,” he said.

He also maintained that he only attended the press conference with fellow presidential bets Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and former defense secretary Norberto Gonzales to offer himself as an alternative.

Moreno, during the press conference, called Vice President Leni Robredo to withdraw from the presidential race, but Lacson later denied that he is also calling the same. 

Moreno later received flak and trended on Twitter for his call, calling the criticisms against him ‘social injustice.’

“Respect for our voters can best be shown by offering them as many choices as possible—which is why my running mate Senate President Sotto and I have made it a point not to ask other candidates to withdraw even as we maintain our stand against negative and baseless personal attacks,” Lacson said.

“Having said that, there is a whale of a difference between not making personal and baseless attacks and calling out preemptive maneuvers by some camps to have other bets withdraw,” he added.

This sentiment was also echoed by Sotto in a separate statement.

“It is not automatic that we share the views or statements of other candidates on matters outside the joint statement, much less agree to be bound by such views,” Sotto said.

He also clarified that while he and Lacson signed a joint statement with Moreno and Gonzales on Sunday, their purpose was to “uphold the sovereignty of the Filipino voters.”

“Let me reiterate that we… committed to serve in the government of whoever among us is chosen; to combine our forces against any attempt to subvert the will of the electorate by limiting their choices; and to continue with our respective campaigns to give our voters the most choices possible,” the vice-presidential candidate added.

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