Gringo or Chiz for VP? Sotto says 'campaigning' different from voting

PAMPANGA, Philippines – In the vice presidential race, will he go for his close friend Senator Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan II or the bet endorsed by his party, Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero?

Re-electionist Senator Vicente Sotto III, a member of the Nationalist People's Coalition, was coy when asked the question on Tuesday, March 1, a day after the NPC declared support for presidential candidate Grace Poe and her running mate Escudero.

Earlier, Sotto said he is supporting his close friend and ally Honasan for vice president, even if he is running under the banner of the Partido Galing at Puso of Poe and Escudero. 

Sotto is also a guest candidate of the United Nationalist Alliance, headed by Honasan's presidential bet Vice President Jejomar Binay.

But now, Sotto said he is all out for the tandem of presidential bet Grace Poe and running mate Escudero.

"Grace and Chiz, sinusuportahan ko. iba ang sinusuportahan sa…" the senator cut his statement. (I support Grace and Chiz. Supporting is different from...)

Pressed on the matter, Sotto said supporting a candidate is different from voting for him or her.

"I'm campaigning for them, supporting and campaigning for them. Voting is a holy act. On May 9, I know what I will write, I will vote for. Kaya p'wede kong di sabihin sino iboboto ko (That's why I can refuse to say who I'm voting)," Sotto told reporters in a chance interview during a sortie here in Pampanga.

Sotto added he and Escudero do not discuss whom he will vote for in the elections.

"Oo, solid kami (NPC) Grace and Chiz. Sabi ko nga sa inyo, sa usapan namin ni Chiz, 'di n'ya alam sino iboboto ko on May 9," Sotto said. (Yes, NPC is solid for Grace and Chiz. Like I told you, in my discussions with Chiz, he does not know who I'm voting for on May 9.)

In a sortie in Pangasinan in February, Sotto said he would only campaign with Honasan, as he has no campaign agreement with Binay and UNA. – Rappler.com

Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email camille.elemia@rappler.com

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