Lacson, Sotto officially announce presidential, VP bids

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 8) — Senator Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Wednesday officially announced their presidential and vice presidential bids, respectively.

Family, friends, former co-workers and supporters were present to cheer on both lawmakers. Sotto first confirmed the tandem's plans in an exclusive interview on CNN Philippines' The Source in July.

Sotto took the stage first.

"Ang inyo pong lingkod ay naririto para harapin nag hamon sa tamang panahon na maging kandidato ninyo sa pagka-pangalawang pangulo ng Republika ng Pilipinas," Sotto said.

[Translation: I am here to face the challenge at the right time to become your candidate for vice president of the Republic of the Philippines.]

Sotto raised national issues, including poor economy, rising COVID-19 cases, corruption and poverty, which are making Filipinos lose hope.

"Kailangan na nating tumugon. Kailangan na nating umaksyon. Kailangan na natin magsanib pwersa upang mapigilan at maitama ang mali. Ito na ang simula," he said.

[Translation: We have to step up. We have to take action. We have to join forces to stop and correct what is wrong. This is the start.]

When it was his turn to speak, Lacson recalled President Rodrigo Duterte's State of the Nation Address in July.

"President Rodrigo Duterte admitted he was wrong to think that leading the country is as simple and easy as leading Davao City. Walang debate sa katotohanan. Hindi natin dapat payagan ang maling akala para sa kinabukasan ng ating bansa," he said.

[Translation: President Rodrigo Duterte admitted he was wrong to think that leading the country is as simple and easy as leading Davao City. There is no debate. We should not let a wrong belief steer the future of the country.]

Lacson added that he and Sotto have more than 80 years of "honest, dedicated, and competent public service", and this experience gave them the competence to lead the country.

Lacson said they would present their platform of government, which includes discipline in spending public funds. He also mentioned that local governments should be given "bigger roles and responsibilities and more autonomy in nation-building, but with greater accountability."

READ: No federalism for Lacson-Sotto tandem