(UPDATE) Sen. Ping Lacson said Thursday he was running for president as an independent after he quit his own Partido Reporma because party leaders decided to back one of his rivals, whom he did not immediately name.
Lacson said he resigned as chairman and member of the Partido Reporma as it was "only decent and proper" following the party leaders' decision.
"Yesterday, I was informed by the party president, former Speaker Pantaleon 'Bebot' Alvarez, that their slate in Davao del Norte, led by party secretary-general and provincial governor Edwin Jubahib, has decided to endorse another presidential candidate," he said in a statement.
"In the face of these recent developments, allow me to say: Like a true-blooded warrior that I am all my life, I will continue this fight in pursuit of my quest to serve my country and our people, as your chief executive -- if God and the Filipino people will it, come May 9, 2022."
Lacson said he harbored no ill-feelings towards partymates who choose to support a different candidate.
"Sa lahat ng miyembro at kandidato ng Partido Reporma sa labas ng Davao del Norte, who joined the party because of our shared advocacy to fight graft and corruption in pursuit of good governance, all for the sake of our beloved country and people -- with or without party affiliation -- I am not leaving you behind," he said.
"I assure you that I will be your leader and supporter in our shared convictions and aspirations. Magkakasama pa rin tayo sa laban na ito."
Although he resigned from his party, Lacson is not an independent candidate as far as the Commission on Elections is concerned.
"Whatever is your party at the time of the filing of candidacy stays. Your CONA stays. Whatever change in your affiliation after the filing of the candidacy period doesn't matter. That will be the basis always of determining your party," said Comelec Commissioner George Erwin Garcia.
"Regardless ng nangyari, that will be political. But as far as the legal effect is concerned, as far as the Comelec is concerned, whatever his or her party was at the filing from Oct. 1 to 8 will be his party for purposes of the ballot and for the purposes of determining the dominant majority, dominant minority," he added.