Senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson on Tuesday launched his presidential campaign in his Cavite hometown, positioning himself as the leader who will uplift the lives of millions by eradicating corruption.
The former national police chief, who built a reputation in the Senate for exposing graft, tapped Senate President Tito Sotto as his vice president. Cavite is the second most vote-rich province in the country.
Lacson kicked off his campaign at Imus Grandstand after a 3:30 p.m. mass at the Imus Cathedral. Members of the tandem's senatorial line-up, including retired Police Gen. Guillermo Eleazar and former senator JV Ejercito, also waved to masked supporters clad in white, red and blue.
"Bakit binoboto natin ang mismong magnanakaw sa atin? Hindi ba dapat pipiliin natin mabuti, pagadating ng May 9? Hindi sa pinagpipilitin namin yung aming sarili, pero piliin natin. Kasi ang mag-ssuffer tayo—anim na taon nating pagsisisihan ang ating ginawa pag nagkamali tayo ng ibinoto," he said.
"Ni minsan, ni hindi kami tumanggap ng suhol kapalit ng serbisyo publiko. At kapag pinagpala kami ng Diyos, ng Poong Maykapal, na manilbihan sa susunod na anim na taon, ipagpapatuloy namin ang aming magandang serbisyo. Ang battle cry naming dalawa, aayusin ang gobyerno para maging maayos ang buhay ng bawat Pilipino," Lacson added.
"Isang araw lang tayo magiging hari, isang araw lang tayong mamimili ng mamumuno satin. Pag tayo public servant...the people may not be our masters, but definitely, we are your servants," he said. "Hinding-hindi ko kayo ipapahiya, hinding-hindi ko kayo bibiguin."
The 73-year-old candidate is aiming to replicate the reforms from his time as PNP Chief to eliminate corruption in the national government, calling it the "worst form of thievery."
In Nov. 2021, Lacson planted the Philippine flag on Pag-asa, the largest Filipino-occupied island in the Spratlys that is also claimed by China, saying "Atin ang West Philippine Sea. Tayong mga Pilipino, hindi pasisiil," in a Facebook post that documented his visit.
If elected president, Lacson said he would let the public scrutinize his bank accounts to set the tone for good governance and encourage everyone in government to follow his lead in waiving their rights under the bank secrecy law as a way to restore public trust.
The Lacson-Sotto tandem earlier said they would not partake in mudslinging or in commenting on statements from other candidates. They would focus on issues instead, saying they wanted to elevate the level of discussion in the May 9 elections.