2022 Philippine Elections

Atienza no longer backing out of VP race

Aika Rey

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Atienza no longer backing out of VP race

Vice presidential bet Lito Atienza speaks to reporters on April 11, 2022.

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'To move with that idea of Ping, there is no movement. We'll be stuck,' says Pacquiao running mate Lito Atienza

MANILA, Philippines – Vice presidential candidate Lito Atienza said he will no longer back out from the vice presidential race.

Atienza said this after Senator Panfilo Lacson considered Senate President Tito Sotto as a common candidate for him and Senator Manny Pacquiao.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, April 11, Atienza said:  “Definitely not, no withdrawal for me, too.”

Atienza said that the idea is for both of them, him and Lacson, to withdraw.

“What he’s doing is reversing the counteroffer. That’s not the idea. Not my idea. My idea is everybody – a new shift in the opportunity. To move with that idea of Ping, there is no movement. We’ll be stuck. It will strengthen Bongbong Marcos, it will not strengthen the opposition,” Atienza said.

He said that he will “probably catch up in the last stages of the campaign.”

Bumoto kayo (Vote) according to your own consciences; but I’m warning the whole nation, the realization that another Marcos regime is forthcoming will cause a national crisis. Not only national but international. We will be the talk of the international stage,” he said.

Atienza warned that government coffers might be looted again under another Marcos regime.

“How can Filipinos do that? They haven’t recovered the money of yesteryears. And they are putting another Marcos in charge?” he said.

“That is very embarrassing and critical in the sense na eh kung paano kung mawala na naman ang pera ng bansa? (What if government money disappears again?) The next revolution may not be as peaceful anymore,” he warned.

Atienza has earlier floated the idea of Pacquiao and Sotto teaming up to form a “stronger” alternative to the tandem of survey frontrunners Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.

The veteran politician said that he is “very seriously” considering his withdrawal from the vice presidential race if Lacson withdraws too.

Lacson has flatly rejected the proposal, but after Atienza apologized, he softened his stance and said that Sotto could be a common candidate.

Sotto still lags in far second place to Duterte in the pre-election surveys on vice presidential candidates, while Atienza is in 6th place. Lacson is also trailing behind in the voters’ preference surveys on presidential candidates. – Rappler.com

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.