Organizers of political opposition group 1Sambayan had a rude awakening after Sen. Ping Lacson rejected their offer to become one of their potential presidential nominees, mainly because of their previous holier-than-thou pronouncements and stand on certain issues.
IN what could be a first major setback for opposition coalition 1Sambayan’s ambitious bid to win Malacanang Palace, Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson on Tuesday declined the offer of the fledgling political group to be one of its presidential nominees for the 2022 national elections.
In his curt reply to the letter of 1Sambayan convenor and retired Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio, Lacson enumerated some of the reasons why he should not be included in the group’s nominees.
He chided Carpio noting that his participation in the process “will be construed as lack of propriety on my end in light of your prior pronouncements suggesting that my representation will be a stumbling block on your political endorsements.”
Lacson was reacting to a letter sent by Carpio to serve as a reactor in a town hall meeting organized by the coalition regarding national security and foreign policy on June 19.
1Sambayan also asked Lacson to submit a 30-second video and a one-pager profile, supposedly since the senator is one of the presidential nominees under consideration of the coalition.
Self-respecting public servant
Lacson pointed out that as any self-respecting public servant would do, he was constrained to graciously decline the invitation.
“In honor of my personal and political convictions that I have consistently and unwaveringly adhered to, and in consideration of the supposed ‘inconsistency’ and ‘incongruence’ that these may entail to your political endeavors,” Lacson said in the letter.
“To this end, I still wish to express my gratitude to 1Sambayan for considering my participation in your event and my representation as one of your Presidential nominees,” he added.
The senator narrated that after watching Carpio’s television interview, he had been under the impression that 1Sambayan coalition has effectively excluded him from possible nominees.
He was particularly reacting to a statement of Carpio who made it clear, as its lead convenor, “that it would be ‘inconsistent and ‘incongruous’ for the group to endorse, let alone, be identified with somebody who is one of the authors and the principal sponsor” of the Anti-Terrorism Law.”
Lacson sponsored the law during the Senate deliberations on the measure.
“While you have explicitly and repeatedly made a remark during the interview that you have ‘no problem’ with me running again as a senator in the upcoming national elections, I could not possibly reconcile how much would be the case if it has been publicly disclosed by the former Associate Justice that his misgivings are anchored on this representation’s stand in earnestly sponsoring a measure in the exercise of my sworn duty as one of the elected lawmakers of the land,” Lacson said.
Open for discussion
In a statement by 1Sambayan convenor Atty. Howard Calleja before Lacson publicly released the letter to Carpio, Calleja said the coalition remains “open to discussing things with Senator Ping and other well-meaning individuals.”
He added their group believes in unifying the opposition and is desirous of uniting those who are against dictatorship, authoritarianism, extrajudicial killings, suppression of human rights, and subservience to foreign interests.
Calleja noted that issues are the hallmarks of the Duterte administration,
“However, those who do not believe in a united opposition are of course free to chart their own course,” he added.
Big PR problem
With Lacson among the first big names declining the 1Sambayan offer, political analysts are convinced that the opposition has just created a big public relations problem because of the careless pronouncements of its convenors.
“Ang mahirap kasi sa mga taga 1Sambayan ang pakiramdam nila ay sila lang ang santo at lahat ng hindi nila kasama at hindi sumusunod sa kanilang political advocacies ay mga demonyo,” said a political strategist who requested that his name be withheld.
He added that if the group will not change its style and methodology, they would suffer the same fate that befell the Otso Diretso in the last elections.
“Hindi pa rin sila natuto. Lumang istilo na ang ginagawa nila. Mas gusto ng tao na kakampi nila ang mga kandidato, hindi iyong mga kandidato lang ang mga magkakampi,” he pointed out.
Tags: #PingLacson, #2022elections, #1Sambayan, #JusticeCarpio