Nominees declining not a good start for 1Sambayan - Lacson


Posted at Jun 14 2021 10:08 AM | Updated as of Jun 14 2021 10:40 AM

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MANILA - Having several nominees decline 1Sambayan's nomination is not a good start for the group, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Monday.

1Sambayan, helmed by several key political and civil society personalities for a united opposition in the 2022 elections, on Saturday named Vice President Leni Robredo, Senator Grace Poe, former senator Antonio Trillanes IV, CIBAC Party-list Rep. Eddie Villanueva, Batangas Rep. Vilma Santos, and human rights lawyer Chel Diokno as its possible nominees for the presidency and vice-presidency.

However, Poe and Santos said they are not running for either position next year. Diokno said while he was "honored" to be included in the list, he hopes to focus first on his legal helpdesk. Villanueva's son, Sen. Joel Villanueva, said they are "not interested to embark on a journey to the Presidency" after losing his mother and sister last year.

"I don’t think it’s a good start for the 1Sambayan to say the least. Among those nominees, the 6 of them, 4 have declined and only 2 are left. That doesn’t speak well of a conveners’ group making choices for the 2022 national elections," Lacson told ANC's Headstart.

He said his only options for 2022 are gunning for the presidency or retiring. However, he noted that Retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio "rejected" his inclusion in the 1Sambayan slate because he authored the Anti-Terrorism Act, while several members of the group are petitioners against the law.

"I don’t think they are inclusive enough. People think—or at least those that I’ve spoken to—that there’s exclusiveness in looking for nominees because they have set the standards," he said when asked what he thinks are the challenges for 1Sambayan.

Lawyer Howard Calleja, members of the pro-democracy group, has said the list of nominees may still be updated until the filing of candidacy in October.

He also noted that declining the nomination could be a strategy for some of the candidates.