Partido Reporma standard-bearer Senator Panfilo Lacson remains optimistic about his chances of winning the presidency, buoyed by the positive reception he is getting from supporters and the general public to his proposed policies to eliminate corruption and installing a more responsive government.
Lacson said he, his running mate Senate President Tito Sotto III, and their senatorial candidates would continue their interactive campaign strategy to win voters to their side regardless of what pre-election surveys were projecting, which he said did not necessarily reflect what was happening on the ground.
“I feel upbeat because what we see on the ground does not seem to reflect what the surveys are saying. That’s how I feel and the feeling is the same for Senate President Sotto,” said Lacson.
“So, let’s see. Because, after all, the presidency is a destiny and it’s a calling. If you are not called to it, then you really cannot serve. But if you are destined to play that role, certain events are always bound to happen that will take you in that direction,” he added.
Lacson, meanwhile, minced no words that voter education or miseducation proved a great challenge for him and his campaign teams, considering that most Filipinos were still measuring politicians based on how well they could “fool them every election season, not on the soundness of their platforms.”
Lacson is hoping that their issues-based style of campaigning would resonate among the greater majority of Filipino voters because what they were offering were solutions to the ongoing, recurring and emerging problems of the country.
In his recent campaign sorties in Quezon, Camarines Norte and Sorsogon, Lacson showed flashes of inclusive leadership with the way he incorporated ideas from the people themselves to his governance policies in the future to make them more aligned to their needs and priorities.
Lacson said some of the ideas he was absorbing came from industry leaders like former Agriculture Secretary and senatorial aspirant Emmanuel Piñol, who has forged deep personal and professional ties with the farmers and fisherfolk.
Piñol, for his part, appealed to the Filipino voters to open their minds, their eyes and their hearts to what true leadership was like, and not base their decisions on what survey results were showing, which, he said, were actually designed to condition public minds.
Because as far as the longtime public servants are concerned, Lacson already gained enough trust and confidence to serve as the 17th president because of his experience and competence, but people are generally discouraged to bet on him owing to his low ranking in the pre-election polls.
“So, I think there is a need for us to really review the operations of survey firms… [Because] it actually spoils our desire to really elect a good leader,” Piñol said.
Meanwhile, dialogues with various sectors across the country have been paying off for Lacson and Sotto III, not just in terms of voter support for the May 9 national elections, but also in learning the problems of the majority of Filipinos that can be solved with relevant changes in governance.
Lacson revealed this in a radio interview during the weekend as he said his and Sotto’s campaign sorties across the country, and in the largely agricultural provinces of Quezon, Camarines Norte, and Sorsogon this past week, opened their eyes to the real woes Pinoys raised in their town hall meetings.
“It’s good that we travel around, we learn so many things, actually. Because we focus on sectoral discussions, we don’t simply hold a rally where we just talk to people who are listening or not listening,” he said.
“We really prefer to hear the complaints from the ground, we learn from them a lot. The Senate President (Sotto) and I learn so much, and even the senatorial candidates we travel with. It’s really good and appropriate, the town hall meetings we hold,” Lacson added.
One such meeting in Quezon, for instance, strengthened Lacson’s resolve to push for devolution of funds and functions to local government units instead of these being held hostage by the national government or its agencies, to the detriment of the agricultural sector.