Lacson and Sotto has been publicly floating their tandem for the past month, with them visiting local government units around the country in recent weeks to test the waters. Sotto even reportedly said that he is not bothered even if he ends up going against President Rodrigo Duterte in the vice presidential race.
Now on his third term as Senator, Lacson is the first major candidate to openly declare his bid for the presidency. Lacson, 73, previously ran for president in 2004 although he finished third place between then-incumbent Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and veteran actor Fernando Poe, Jr.
It can be recalled that there were efforts to unify Lacson and Poe back in 2004 but it was unsuccessful because neither of them was willing to give way. Sotto, ironically, served as Poe’s campaign manager.
Like Duterte in 2016, Lacson emphasized a peace and order platform during his 2004 campaign. Lacson used slogans like “Si Ping ang Kinabukasan” (Ping is the Future),” “Buo ang loob, walang takot” (“Decisive and fearless”), and “Tapos ang hirap, tapos ang gulo, ‘pag si Ping ang Pangulo” (“Poverty and chaos ends when Ping is president”) – likening himself to other Asian strongmen like Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore and Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia.