2022 Philippine senatorial race

Gatchalian dropped by Lacson-Sotto after endorsing Marcos-Duterte

Rambo Talabong
Gatchalian dropped by Lacson-Sotto after endorsing Marcos-Duterte

ENDORSEMENT. Senator Win Gatchalian supporting former senator Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.

Gatchalian Facebook page

'What will you do when someone does not follow a gentleman’s agreement?' says a visibly dismayed Senate President Vicente Sotto III
Gatchalian dropped by Lacson-Sotto after endorsing Marcos-Duterte

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has been dropped by the Lacson-Sotto tandem after he endorsed their opponents, former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.

Meron kaming respeto sa sarili namin. Importante sa akin ang self-respect and dignity of the Filipino. And I am a Filipino (We respect ourselves. Self-respect and dignity of the Filipino is important to me. And I am a Filipino),” said Senator Panfilo Lacson during their first in-person Meet the Press forum in their campaign headquarters in San Juan City.

Lacson flashed a video clip showing Gatchalian in the proclamation rally of Marcos and Duterte. There, Gatchalian declared Marcos as the country’s future president, and Duterte as his vice president.

Lacson and Sotto only have one rule for their senatorial candidates to stay in their team: they are forbidden from endorsing another tandem. For Lacson and Sotto, Gatchalian “clearly” and “obviously” broke this rule. (READ: Lacson-Sotto lenient with absent senatoriables: ‘They want to win’)

Gatchalian skipped the proclamation rally of Lacson and Sotto for Duterte and Marcos, sending his brother Deputy Speaker Wes Gatchalian as a proxy. Congressman Gatchalian also appeared in the Lacson-Sotto Quezon City campaign sortie on Wednesday, February 10.

Gatchalian dropped by Lacson-Sotto after endorsing Marcos-Duterte

Lacson and Sotto bared that before Senator Gatchalian went to the Marcos-Duterte rally, he first met with them personally to ask if was okay for him to go to the bigger sortie. Lacson and Sotto said they reminded Gatchalian about their non-endorsement pact, and they said Gatchalian committed to protecting it.

Other members of the Lacson-Sotto senatorial slate made appearances in other proclamations, but they followed the agreement. Senator Migz Zubiri was also at the Marcos-Duterte proclamation rally, but he did not declare any categorical endorsement. Senator Richard Gordon was in the campaign kickoff of the Robredo-Pangilinan duo, but he did not expressly endorse them.

Lacson, who is known for thorough probes at the Senate, said he had his team look into these guest appearances of their senatoriables, and found only Gatchalian to have gone astray. A visibly dismayed Sotto dropping Gatchalian was the only response they could do.

“What will you do when someone does not follow a gentleman’s agreement,” Sotto said.

Sotto is the chairman of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), and they count Gatchalian as one of its highest posted members. The Lacson-Sotto team earlier dropped fellow NPC member Herbert Bautista from their lineup, after the former Quezon City mayor asked if he could be the NPC’s representative to the Marcos-Duterte “Uniteam” slate.

“It’s better that we have each other understood at the get-go. At least he had taken it out of his chest who he wanted to support…We did him a favor,” Lacson said in a mix of English and Filipino. – Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.