(UPDATE) Sen. Panfilo Lacson said on Wednesday that he and Senate President Vicente Sotto III recently met with Vice President Leni Robredo as they prepare for their candidacy in the 2022 elections.
"Umupo kami kasama ko rin Senate President with Vice President Leni. At that time kasama niya si [former] Sen. Bam Aquino," Lacson, who is running for president with Sotto for vice president, said during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay media forum.
Lacson refused to divulge the details of their meeting, saying he wasn't authorized to do so.
Robredo's office also confirmed that Lacson and Sotto met with the vice president, saying that the meetings took place last week.
"I can't speak about the specifics, but this is all part of the VP's commitment to forge the broadest possible unity among groups and individuals seeking change in 2022," said Barry Rodriguez, Robredo's spokesperson.
The Lacson-Sotto ticket is the first tandem to be confirmed for the 2022 elections. The two senators have positioned themselves as the "alternative" candidates for next year's polls, saying they are neither part of the administration nor the opposition.
Robredo's talks with Lacson and Sotto did not sit well with another opposition figure, former Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.
"VP Leni, I hope this is not true. Pero kung totoo ito, pasensya na po pero the Magdalo Group would not join you and Liberal Party kung mag-give way kayo para kay Sen. Lacson," Trillanes said in a tweet.
"May I remind you also na si Sen. Lacson ay isa sa nagtulak sa unjust imprisonment of your partymate, Sen. [Leila] De Lima," he added.
Apart from Lacson and Sotto, Senator Richard Gordon, who had expressed intention to run for president in the 2022 elections, also confirmed meeting with Robredo, but refused to give details on a possible team-up.
Robredo is among the nominees of the 1Sambayan opposition coalition for a standard bearer in the 2022 elections.
While she agrees that the opposition must field a single presidential candidate, Robredo can't commit herself to be the standard bearer, except to say that she remained "open" to running for president.