Batting for Ping Lacson. Photo by Armand M. Galang
SAN LEONARDO, Nueva Ecija – Several personalities and sectoral leaders from various Central Luzon provinces joined forces in an assembly at Mavin’s Event Center here Monday to throw their support to the presidential bid of Sen. Panfilo Lacson.
Branding their campaign Gitnang Luzon for Ping Lacson or GL4PL, the group said Lacson’s presidency is too save the country from the supposed five years of “incompetence” of the administration of Pres. Duterte.
“Ang higit na kailangan ng bansa, matapos ang limang taon na walang kakayahan at walang direksyong pamamahala, ay isang pinuno na may tapang, talino at katapatan,” the group said in a statement. Lacson, they asserted, has these qualities.
“Aanhin natin ang tapang na walang talino, at talino na walang katatagan? Ang kailangan natin ay isang lider na hindi lamang matapang kundi may sapat na katalinuhan at kakayahan para tumbasan ang kanyang katapangan,” said Teofilo “Ka Boodgie” Juatco, GL4PL spokesperson.
Juatco is a farmer-leader, organizer, writer, and an environmental activist who was a political detainee in the 1970s.
The GL4PL launch coincided with the 222nd birth anniversary of martyred Fr. Mariano Gomez in Cavite, who along with Fr. Jose Burgos and Fr. Jacinto Zamora comprised the trio of martyred Filipino priests during the time of Spanish colonization collectively known as Gomburza, a portmanteau of their family names.
The GL4PL noted that Lacson who has been pushing for the Philippine’s claim over the West Philippine Sea was also born in Cavite.
The people from Central Luzon, they added, should support a presidential bet who fights for the country and against corruption considering the region’s history of resisting colonizers.
“Mula noong panahon ng pananakop ng Espanya, Amerika, at Hapon, ang mga taga-Gitnang Luzon ay aktibong lumaban sa iba’t ibang anyo ng pakikibaka para sa kalayaan ng bansa. Ito ang dahilan kung bakit aming sinusuportahan si Senador Ping Lacson na naninindigan para sa kasarinlan ng bansa sa pamamagitan ng pagbatikos sa pala-sukong patakaran ng kasalakuyang administrasyon,” they said.
Juatco said that Lacson has been consistent in his fight against corruption, specifically in the use of countrywide development fund or pork barrel.
“Hindi siya kailanman gumamamit ng pork barrel. Dahil dito, mahigit P2-bilyon halaga ng taxpayers’ money ang naprotektahan at napunta sa mga mahahalagang panlipunang serbisyo at programa,” Juatco said.
They ceremonially hit glasses with spoons which, Juatco said, symbolizes Lacson’s unhampered service to the Filipino people. They also signed manifesto of support.
GL4PL, he said, is composed of farmers and agriculture workers, fishermen, small businessmen, youth, women, former government workers from both local and national agencies.
Among them were Roosevelt Morabe, an entrepreneur from Pampanga; Mark Figueras, community organizer from Zambales; Fernando Ramos, good governance advocate from Bulacan; Wax Joaquin, president of Navara Nation-Nueva Ecija; and Cris Agustin, young entrepreneur.
Some participants had to attend virtually, it was learned.
Lacson was named standard bearer of Reporma with Senate Pres. Tito Sotto as running mate.