Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson and Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III were the first to announce their presidential and vice-presidential bids for the two highest positions in government. The early announcement barely got the attention of the public.
A month after the announcement, Sotto has gained a strong footing in the campaign trail. Based on the September 2021 Pulse Asia Nationwide Survey for 2022 elections, Senate President Sotto ranked first in the vice-presidential bid.
On the contrary, Lacson remains unpopular to the masses. In the same survey, he only garnered 6% of the votes which ranked him 7th among the other presidentiables. The senator called on voters to be more discerning and vote for officials who are really competent and qualified rather than those who are just popular.
Before entering the world of politics, Lacson was a police official under the regime of former president Joseph Estrada. After Estrada was ousted in early 2001, Lacson won a seat in the Senate that same year, and proceeded to win two more terms. He has maintained this position since 2016.
At the age of 73, Lacson is on his second attempt for the presidency. He first ran in 2004 but lost to former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
With almost 20 years of experience in politics and by looking at his credentials, he is qualified to become president. His record in both the Senate and in his stint as the Philippine National Police (PNP) chief from 1999 to 2001 where he instituted the “no-take policy” to stop corruption in the police ranks are known as his best credentials in his presidential bid in the May 2022 elections.
Lacson also authored, co-authored, sponsored, and passed laws that remain relevant today. Some of his most important legislations include:
- Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007 which aims to prevent graft and corruption by reducing red tape in service transactions
- Act Increasing the Base Pay of the Members of the AFP (RA 9166)
- Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 (RA 9208) which aims to institute policies to eliminate trafficking in persons especially women and children.
- Anti-Money Laundering Act (RA 9160 as amended by Republic Act 9194) that aims to protect and preserve the integrity and confidentiality of bank accounts and to ensure that the Philippines will not be used as a money laundering site.
- Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 which is the most recent law that the Senate passed to address the issue of terrorism and all allied activities while ensuring the protection of our civil and political rights.
Indeed, his credentials and long years of experience make him qualified for presidency but he remains unpopular among the general public which is considered a big difficulty for his candidacy. He might land in the headlines but if we look at social media, his name doesn’t show up very often.
Some polling firms reportedly excluded him in the choices for the presidential bets in the 2022 elections. But according to the information they received, responses that favor him as a candidate for president are being ‘invalidated’ in some election surveys. Lacson said he is still verifying which survey firm is disregarding his name as a potential presidential candidate.
Regardless of competing with names more popular than him, Lacson remains strong in his advocacies and confident that his qualifications are enough to win the 2022 presidential elections.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of POLITICO.PH
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Clarisse Rafols is a student at the University of the East, taking up Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. She is a former officer of UE Journalism Society and is currently an intern for Politico aiming to become a learned journalist to serve the general public with factual information.