MANILA, Philippines — A day after confirming he is running in tandem with Senator Ping Lacson in the 2022 polls, Senate President Tito Sotto on Wednesday bared an initial list of personalities, including past and present lawmakers, they are eyeing to endorse for their senatorial lineup.
– Former Senator JV Ejercito
– Sorsogon Governor Chiz Escudero
– Senator Sherwin Gatchalian
– Senator Richard Gordon
– DICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan II
– Former Comelec Commissioner Goyo Larrazabal
– House Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda
– Senator Joel Villanueva
– Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri
– Leyte Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez
Sotto, the chairman of the Nationalist People’s Coalition, earlier in the day said there are more endorsements “in the works” in order to complete the 12-man Senate slate.
Sotto first revealed in an exclusive interview with CNN Philippines’ The Source that he would be running for vice president next year alongside Lacson. Asked about what the tandem could offer, the Senate President cited their track record in government service — a combined 83 years of experience.
Crossing party lines?
In a separate media forum, Legarda said she and Zubiri agreed to cross party lines and work together to secure Senate seats.
“Napagdesisyunan namin na dahil maganda ang aming samahan at shared advocacy sa Senado ay cross party lines. Dahil ako naman ay NPC, siya’y independent at ang ibang kasamahan namin ay iba’t ibang partido. Pero we will be campaigning together when possible,” Legarda said during a Kapihan sa Manila Bay briefing.
[Translation: We decided that because we have a good working relationship and have a shared advocacy in the Senate, [we would] cross party lines. Because I’m NPC, he’s independent and the others are from different parties. But we will be campaigning together when possible.]
Meanwhile, Zubiri also said he would want to campaign with “like-minded individuals who believe in hard work and moral standards.” He added he would be “honored” to work alongside the personalities in the list.
Ejercito, for his part, maintained he has yet to decide on his plans for the upcoming polls due to what he described as the ongoing “dilemma” with his half-brother former Senator Jinggoy Estrada, who earlier expressed interest in making a Senate comeback.
“I am still weighing things because of the dilemma and predicament I am in again, since my brother has also signified his intention to run again for the Senate,” he said. “I may not be as popular and moneyed, but what I can offer is my unblemished public service record and performance.”
Reporting by Sean Tyler Chan