Partido Reporma standard-bearer Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson and running mate Senate President Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto III launched their 2022 electoral bids filled with optimism made extra special by the fact that they received good placements in the official ballot for the upcoming polls.
Lacson is number five (5) in the list of candidates for president while Sotto is ninth (9) among the vice-presidential aspirants who are eligible to be voted for the top two highest public office positions on Election Day, May 9, 2022.
Since the introduction of automated elections in the Philippines in 2010, the lists of candidates are arranged in alphabetical order by their last names as soon as the Commission on Elections (Comelec) finalized and certified those who are qualified to participate in every general election.
At the Lacson-Sotto proclamation rally held at the Imus Grandstand in Cavite on Tuesday night, the program hosts made sure that voters in attendance would remember these numbers: “Singko-nuwebe sa Mayo 9! (5 and 9 on May 9!),” they urged some 4,000-strong Caviteños.
Caviteños showed their readiness to embrace the reforms offered by Lacson and Sotto when they came out in droves on Tuesday for the veteran tandem’s proclamation rally ahead of the national elections.
Cheers and praise filled the Imus Grandstand from supporters of the longtime public servants, as various friends and family of the duo mingled with groups of senior citizens, the youth, and provincemates of the presidential bet – born and raised in Imus – and turned the area into a sea of blue and white shirts.
There are many positive attributes and symbolisms associated with the number 5 from mathematics, science, astrology to religion. The physical universe generally has five elements (earth, water, fire, air and space/aether). Five also signifies ‘change,’ ‘grace,’ and ‘balance,’ according to spiritual beliefs.
In the Biblical tale of David and Goliath, the young shepherd picked up five stones to defeat his giant enemy. This story has been told and retold for many generations and the characters of David and Goliath became synonymous with an underdog winning against a cocky opponent respectively.
Number 9 is also considered lucky to some extent. In Feng Shui, which a lot of Filipinos and Chinese-Filipinos believe in, nine is considered a supreme number, signifying wholeness and accomplishment. It, therefore, carries with it some good fortune as well.
Lacson and Sotto are both practicing Catholics, who have relied on their faith to guide them in their decisions throughout their combined 83 years of public service and political careers. They don’t necessarily subscribe to the ideas of numerology, but they keep an open mind to it anyway.
“Five-nine, right—May 9. May 9 is 5/9 in the number format—5/9/2022. He (Lacson) is number 5, I am number 9, so 5/9—May 9. That’s pretty cool],” Sotto noted in his speech.
“I believe this is our time, Ping Lacson and I. Because you know what they say, it’s always darkest before the dawn. So, we have high hopes because I trust him, I trust the people around us. That is important,” he added.
The Lacson-Sotto presidential duo is on a mission to restore public trust in good governance and the democratic institutions whose reputations were impaired by the outgoing administration, including our justice system, law enforcement and military, civil society, and the government itself.
Despite facing some serious competition against their political rivals, both Lacson and Sotto have been largely successful in positioning themselves as the most competent, experienced, and qualified candidates who are more than ready to take on the primary leadership roles.
“I am standing before you as a fellow citizen, legitimately from Imus, legitimately from Cavite. If I will be fortunate enough to keep serving you (as future president), I will never let you down. I will never disappoint you,” Lacson said for his part, counting on the support of his countrymen to catapult him to the presidency.
The Lacson-Sotto tandem is campaigning on their advocacies of good governance and anti-corruption through their battle cries “Aayusin ang Gobyerno, Aayusin ang Buhay ng Bawat Pilipino” (Fix the Government, Fix the Lives of Every Filipino) and “Uubusin ang Magnanakaw” (Get Rid of the Thieves).
Actors Iwa Moto, Ciara Sotto, and Archie Zapata hosted Partido Reporma’s kickoff rally, which attracted an estimated 4,000 people from various parts of Cavite who came to Imus to show support for their native son and his partner, the current Senate President.
Several local officials also showed up to underscore their support for the advocacies of Lacson and Sotto, including Imus City Mayor Emmanuel Maliksi, Carmona Mayor Roy Loyola, Cavite 3rd District Rep. Alex Advincula, councilors and barangay chairmen from across the province.
In welcoming the presidential duo to the city, Maliksi expressed his hope that a Caviteño would become the next leader of the Philippines, as he said Lacson was waving the banner of change and true freedom for the country.
Meanwhile, Partido Reporma’s senatorial candidates — retired national police chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, health advocate Dra. Minguita Padilla, and former Makati Congressman Monsour del Rosario — unveiled their platforms in support of the Lacson-Sotto reform agenda.
The party’s guest senatorial bets, former Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Piñol and former Senator JV Ejercito, also showed up in Imus, along with the wife of Senator Migz Zubiri and the siblings of Senator Win Gatchalian and ex-Senator Gringo Honasan, who represented them on stage.
To guard against the threat of COVID-19, Partido Reporma strictly enforced social distancing and other health protocols at the venue. Organizers also offered free COVID testing to all supporters who came to ensure their well-being.