Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Tuesday formally declined an offer from the opposition coalition 1Sambayan to be included its presidential nominees for the 2022 elections.
Lacson said he wrote to 1Sambayan convenor, retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, to refuse both the nomination and an invitation to join their town hall meeting on national security and foreign policy on June 19.
1Sambayan requested Lacson to give a commentary during the open forum of the town hall meeting. They also asked the senator to prepare a 30-second video and one-page profile for the unveiling of the coalition's presidential nominees on June 12, which supposedly included him.
The coalition aims to form a single slate of national candidates to run against the administration ticket backed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Lacson said he declined the nomination because Carpio in a March 24 interview with ANC, "effectively precluded any possible association” with him after he pushed for the passage of the Anti-Terrorism Law.
Carpio, according to Lacson, said during the interview 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 controversial measure, which many of the coalition’s members are questioning before the Supreme Court.
"Hence, as any self-respecting public servant would do, it is in my humble position to take it upon myself to graciously decline your 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.
"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.
Lacson said he was still making consultations about possibly running for president next year. He previously ran for the same position in 2004, but placed third overall.