‘Doesn’t make sense’: Robredo brushes off Lacson’s perceived ‘insult’ during unity talks

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 15 2021 10:59 PM | Updated as of Oct 16 2021 04:46 PM

MANILA — Vice President Leni Robredo on Friday brushed off presidential aspirant Senator Panfilo Lacson’s claim he was insulted by a supposed hand gesture that Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon made during unity talks between the two presidential contenders.

Lacson said Drilon supposedly made a hand gesture suggesting that Robredo should run with Lacson’s runningmate, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, in the May 2022 polls.

“I first heard about that particular comment yesterday. So ang tinanong kong una kay Senator Drilon, ‘Marunong ka pala mag-hand gestures? Hindi ko alam’,” she said during a presser announcing her senatorial slate, eliciting chuckles from Drilon.

“Seriously speaking, I was very open about the unity talks na ginagawa namin. Nangyari ‘yun for a period of about two months… Ako ang nag-seek out sa kanila. Bakit ako mag-aaksaya ng panahon kung hindi ako seryoso doon sa ninanais ko sanang objective that will come out of the talks?,” she explained.

Robredo denied seeing Drilon make any hand gesture.

“Hindi ko nakita si Senator Drilon na nag-hand signals pero para sa akin lang, wala namang any need for that,” she said.

“So sa akin, wala akong nakikitang logic…We could have easily just requested to talk to Senator Sotto if that was the intent…So kung ang sadya lang namin si Senator Sotto, bakit kami mag-aarrange kay Senator Ping so it doesn’t make sense,” she added.

Drilon, for his part, said he could not recall making any gestures at all.

“I honestly, I do not recall the hand signals. I do not know. You ask me today what the hand signal was, I do not know because I never communicate that way,” he said.

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“Kaya hindi ko po alam kung ano ito and that is why I was surprised by this,” he added.

Drilon said Robredo requested him to arrange for the meeting with Lacson and Sotto in the hope of coming up with a unity ticket.

“It was a sincere effort to seek unity,” Drilon said.

Robredo announced her 11-member senatorial slate on Friday, crediting Drilon for helping forge a broad alliance among different groups.

Explaining the selection process, Robredo said the slate was based on nominations from various groups. The roster is still missing one more candidate as the camp continues the process of listening, she said. 

Robredo will face Sen. Manny Pacquiao, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, Sen. Ronald Dela Rosa, labor leader Leody de Guzman and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno in next year's elections.