Breaking the vicious cycle of vengeance between politicians and the electorate will be the underlying theme of presidential candidate Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson’s speech on his ‘miting de avance’ to wrap up his national campaign later this week.
Lacson said he and his campaign team are still finalizing the details of their two final assemblies, which they plan to hold in Cavite and one city in Metro Manila. At this stage of the election season, the presidential bet told reporters he hoped to connect with more enlightened voters.
“That’s why we’re focusing on dialogues; we’re focusing on issues, on platforms. And whatever happens, at least, ‘yon ang legacy na pwede naming iwanan (that is the legacy we can leave behind). We tried our best to change that culture of revenge between the voter and the voted,” he said.
In a press conference held on Sunday (May 1), Lacson noted he and running mate Senate President Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto III had been in public service long enough to recognize that elections had become nothing but a celebration of revenge between opposing forces who should be working together.
“Kasi siklo na ng ano ito e, ng higantihan. Kailan pa? Ang nag-su-suffer ‘yung bansa. Hindi OA ito ha? Because we’ve been in public service for so long and we’ve observed so many elections. Ganyan na lang nangyayari, lokohan na lang nang lokohan. We want to break that,” Lacson said.
[Because this has become a cycle of revenge already. When are we gonna stop? It is our country that suffers. This is not an exaggeration because we’ve been in public service for so long and we’ve observed so many elections. That always happens, they are just fooling each other. We want to break that.]
Lacson mentioned he was delighted that he already found some of these ‘enlightened voters’ in Naga City, Camarines Sur, which he recently visited with senatorial candidate Dr. Minguita Padilla. He prepared himself to be heckled because he knew he was in ‘hostile territory’ but it did not happen.
“Na-enlighten because of the issues that they raised, and we responded to (them), and then ‘yung platform na prinesent (present) namin. Sila pa ‘yung unang lumapit sa amin at sinundan pa nila si Dra. Padilla, (sabi sa kanya), switch na kami sa inyo now that we heard you,” Lacson recalled.
[They were enlightened because of the issues that they raised, and we responded to them, and then we also presented our platform. They were even the ones who approached us and followed Dr. Padilla just to tell her ‘we are switching to your team, now that we heard you.’]
“So, ‘yon ang self-satisfaction na somehow mayroong na-accomplish ‘yung voters’ education, enlightenment ng voters na hindi kulay ang pinag-uusapan kundi plataporma; kundi mga issues na kaya pa lang sagutin ng isang kumakandidato,” the presidential candidate added.
[So, that is the kind of self-satisfaction that you get somehow when you accomplish voters’ education, the enlightenment of voters. We are not talking about political colors, but the issues that the candidates can answer.]
Sotto, for his part, mentioned they will keep discussing their campaign platforms anchored on their flagship Budget Reform Advocacy for Village Empowerment (BRAVE) program. They believe this is what the country really needs to effectively address the most pressing problems of our nation.
The vice-presidential candidate added he is hoping voters would remember him and Lacson as two of their duly elected public officials, who also risked getting infected during the height of the pandemic to enact important laws for the benefit of our embattled frontline workers and citizens.
“Sino ang may ginawa para sa mga kababayan natin? Sa kabuuan ha, hindi sa isang lungsod lang, kundi sa buong Pilipinas. ‘Yon na lang ang tanungin nila. ‘Yon ang i-assess nila. Sino ‘yung mga nandoon sa gitna ng panganib at hindi nakatago sa mga bahay o sa likod ng computer?” Sotto said.
[Who did something for our countrymen? Overall, not only in one city, but the entire country. They (voters) should ask themselves that question and make an assessment. Who among the candidates put themselves in the middle of danger, and did not just stay home, hiding behind computers?]
Sotto previously stated he and Lacson were always physically present at the Senate when it was deliberating on various legislative proposals in response to the serious threats posed by the COVID-19 pandemic on public health and economic stability despite the strict nationwide lockdowns.