Senator Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Vicente Sotto III (PNA fiile photo)

MANILA – Partido Reporma standard-bearer Senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson assured that they will strictly maintain health protocols during their proclamation rally in Imus, Cavite on Tuesday as the campaign period for national candidates officially kicked off.

"Nagpag-usapan namin, kasi Alert Level 2 yun Cavite yun aking home province. So talagang ime-maintain namin strictly 'yung health protocols na umiiral sa Alert (Level) 2. Dahil outdoor kami, maximum 70 percent (We have discussed that since Alert Level 2 is in place in Cavite, my home province, we will strictly maintain the health protocols mandated under Alert Level 2. And since we will be conducting our event outdoors, we will implement the maximum 70 percent)," he said in an interview in Bombo Radyo Tuesday.

Lacson also assured the public that no crowding or bunching will take place in their proclamation rally at the Imus Grandstand at 5 p.m., where he and running mate Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III are scheduled to face thousands of their supporters.

"So nakaayos na kami dun, hindi talaga magdikit-dikit, ginagawa namin lagi ito eh. Yun amin mga rally, pinaghihiwalay namin talaga yun mga silya. Ayaw namin masakripisyo yun kalusugan ng ating mga kababayan na dumadalo sa amin mga events (We already have our setup there and will be no crowding or bunching up. We always make sure of that in our events. In our rallies, we even space the chairs. We don't want to sacrifice the health of our countrymen attending our events)," he added.

Public health and safety protocols will be implemented at the venue such as social distancing, wearing of mask, and necessary rapid antigen testing procedures on the advice of local government and public authorities amid the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic.

Cavite is the second most vote-rich province in the Philippines with over 2.15 million registered voters and is considered a bailiwick of Lacson, who was born and raised in Imus City. Both he and Sotto were widely successful in securing support from the Caviteños during their previous senatorial runs.

Before taking the Imus Grandstand stage to deliver their political speeches, Lacson and Sotto are set to attend a Mass at the Imus Cathedral. Both lawmakers have recently wrapped up their Senate duties upon the adjournment of the third regular session of 18th Congress for the election period.

Also expected to appear at the Lacson-Sotto proclamation rally are the members of their senatorial slate including Partido Reporma stalwarts -- retired Philippine National Police chief Guillermo Eleazar, public health advocate Dr. Minguita Padilla, and former Makati congressman Monsour del Rosario.

Around 4,000 supporters and political allies of the two lawmakers will be present at the gathering, including some of the local government officials of Cavite and nearby provinces, who have already declared unequivocal support for the tandem.

The Lacson-Sotto presidential duo is backed by three political parties in the country namely, Partido Reporma, which Lacson chairs; the Nationalist People’s Coalition chaired by Sotto; and the National Unity Party headed by their campaign manager, former Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno.

Their candidacy is anchored on the principle of restoring public trust in a government that would be left in a state of disrepair, as captured in 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). (with Lloyd Caliwan/PNA)