Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Thursday he had offered a "unification formula" to Vice President Leni Robredo for the 2022 elections which she rejected, prompting him to think that she was open to running for president.
Lacson, who is vying for the presidency in 2022, earlier said that he had a meeting with Robredo, the gist of which was "unification" and to come up with a common candidate against the one whom President Rodrigo Duterte would support.
"I offered her (Robredo) a sure unification effort or formula to unite in the end. There was resistance," Lacson told ANC in an interview, refusing to give further details.
"Hindi siya sold doon sa idea. But it was a sure formula for putting up at least between the two of us a common candidate. But unfortunately she didn't buy it," he said.
Asked if this was because Robredo was still open to running for president, Lacson replied: "Definitely she is open to running."
Robredo's spokesperson Barry Gutierrez earlier confirmed that Robredo met with Lacson and his running mate Senate President Vicente Sotto III, which was part of the vice president's commitment "to forge the broadest possible unity among groups and individuals seeking change in 2022."
The vice president had said that the opposition must field a single presidential candidate, but she couldn't commit herself to be the standard bearer except to say that she remained "open" to running for president.
Lacson also maintained that he would run for president in the 2022 elections.
"Noon sabi ko nabasa na ang sakong namin. Ngayon hanggang tuhod na yung basa namin, talagang tuloy-tuloy na ito. We've gone far and deep into the ocean. So to turn back, parang mahirap nang isipin," he said.
Lacson and Sotto were supposed to officially launch their 2022 bid on Wednesday, but they postponed it as the country faces the threat of the highly contagious Delta coronavirus variant. Their new playdate is Sept. 8, Lacson said.