MANILA — Opposition coalition 1Sambayan said Friday the recent declaration of Sen. Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Vicente Sotto's 2022 bid will not be detrimental to the chances of their yet to be anointed standard bearer next year.
1Sambayan convenors and members downplayed the candidacy of Lacson and Sotto, adding they may likely split the vote of administration bets.
"Sa tingin po natin with a solid opposition, mahahati lang nila ang boto ng administrasyon and we are still hopeful democratic forces composed of the opposition will still unite," 1Sambayan convenor Howard Calleja said in a virtual presser.
The group stressed that Lacson is not part of the selection process of 1Sambayan, which aims to find a single candidate for the presidency under a unified opposition.
The group also noted that while Lacson currently presents himself as the "middle ground," neither opposition nor administration, he was the author of the Anti-Terror Law, which drew much criticism and is facing several challenges at the high court.
"Remember that Senator Ping is the author of the Anti-Terror Law, although he says he is open to amendments, these are some of the gray areas that probably we have to talk about," said 1Sambayan convenor Etta Rosales, former chair of the Commission on Human Rights.
However, 1Sambayan said they are not closing their doors on any candidate who shares "common values" with the group.
"I wouldn’t be surprised if some senators or some of the presidential or vice presidential declarations will either withdraw or join forces with us, so as stated already its still very early and we are in the process of uniting and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them will be joining us in the future," Calleja said.
1Sambayan assures their supporters and the public that by September, before candidates file their certificates of the candidacy, the group will announce their chosen candidates for the 2022 elections.