MANILA (UPDATED) - Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Thursday said the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC), which he chairs, is planning to coalesce with Aksyon Demokratiko for the 2022 national elections.
The NPC will be discussing "possible alliances" in a general meeting on July 29, Sotto, told reporters in a text message.
"I'm consulting my party on the 29th to finalize," Sotto said when asked if the NPC would partner with Aksyon Demokratiko, the political party founded by the late Sen. Raul Roco and of which Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto, his nephew, is a part.
Among notable members of Aksyon Demokratiko are Pasig City Representative Roman Romulo and former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, who was part of the opposition’s Otso Diretso coalition in the 2019 midterm elections.
The Senate President and his decade-long friend Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson have started to visit several provinces for "consultation meetings" months before the filing of candidacies in October.
Lacson earlier said that he would either run for president or retire from politics in 2022, while Sotto has been vocal about his intention to run for vice president.
They have yet to formally announce their plans for the 2022 national elections, but are expected to tour parts of Luzon next week.
NO FINALIZATION YET
Aksyon Demokratiko said they have yet to finalize if they would coalesce with NPC.
“As a political party, Aksyon is currently in the process of consulting with various candidates as well as our members,” the party said in a statement.
“We have had meetings with other potential candidates to explore potential alignments in terms of their platform of governance and vision for the country."
Aside from the Lacson-Sotto tandem, Aksyon Demokratiko met with 2 other potential candidates for next year’s polls, party Secretary-General Ernest Ramel Jr. told ABS-CBN News.
He declined to say who the 2 other candidates are.
“Primary considerations are: alignment of principles, platform of governance; and track record of candidate,” Ramel said.
The Pasig city mayor’s relationship with the Senate President is not among the “main factors” that would affect Aksyon’s decision, he said.
The younger Sotto is a nephew and godchild of the Senate President.