CEBU CITY - Partido Reporma standard bearer Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Friday said he would not actively seek the endorsement of President Rodrigo Duterte and other incumbent politicians to boost his chances of winning the 2022 presidential elections.
Lacson likened a political endorsement to respect, saying both things should be earned, and never demanded.
"We will not seek it openly. May tinatawag tayong self-respect (we have this thing called self-respect)," he told reporters when asked if he plans to court the President's endorsement.
"Campaigning is all about seeking endorsement from the people pero hindi 'yung parang nagmamakawa ka na (but not to the point of begging)," he said.
The policy on not actively seeking an endorsement also covers other incumbent politicians, the senator said.
"It also applies to others. Nakagawian na namin ni Senate President (We have been used) to do it in our own efforts," he said.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III - who is seeking the vice presidency - said their tandem is more keen on securing endorsements from voters.
"Endorsements are good, but we need votes," Sotto said.
"We will seek the endorsement of everybody as much as possible from the governor to the lowest member of government," he said
Several other presidential aspirants have been vocal about their openness to get Duterte's backing for the upcoming 2022 national elections after Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go - the President's long-time aide - said he was backing out from the presidential race.
While Go has announced his plan to step down from the race, he has yet to submit official documents to the Commission on Elections to formalize the withdrawal.
Lacson and Sotto has been going around the country to touch base with local leaders and voters, but the tandem underscored that they are not trying to court endorsements from local chief executives.
"We’re not seeking their endorsement, we are explaining to them our platforms," Lacson said.
"Kung hindi namin makuha ang endorsement, we have to work harder and go down to the grassroots."