It's not really the early bird which catches the worm aphorism which allies in the face of the Lacson-Sotto tandem but more of a calculated risk in taking on the daunting challenge of running for the two highest posts in the land. In 2015, the news cycle…
was occupied by candidates who wanted to get PNoy's anointment. There was Poe and Cayetano in the headlines. The former because of the case questioning her citizenship while the latter was jockeying to become Roxas' running mate as gratuity for his demolition job on Binay. The
situation is different today not only because of the pandemic but also due to the changed political landscape. Duterte broke the political template with the strategy he employed in 2015. It was political striptease at its best. When he finally decided to run, he seized control of
the news cycle with his disruptive style. So far, there is nothing disruptive about the manner in which Lacson-Sotto is going about their candidacies. Sotto has gone all-in with his political gamble. The NPC has broken with administration. It was announced last week that it will
not be renewing its alliance with Hugpong ng Pagbabago. Sotto won't be ousted as Senate President this late in the game but the President took a dig at him last Saturday at the inauguration of the new Clark Airport Terminal by referring to him as Vice-President Vicente Sotto.
The public has to realize that it's not easy to come to a decision challenging any incumbent, specially a hugely popular one. This comes with a lot of risk. But Sotto is throwing it all in because he has reached the apex of his political career. He did the same in 2004 when he
cast his lot with FPJ. Ironically, that was the same year Lacson also broke from the LDP to run as an independent candidate for President with Carlos Padilla as his running mate. Politics is about timing and few are given second chances. What is different today is the traditional
opposition is in its death throes. If left on its own, the administration will run roughshod over the opposition. It wouldn't be much of a competition but more of a massacre at the polls. This is what he Lacson-Sotto tandem aims to achieve; give the voters an option. Lacson-Sotto
brings a wealth of track-record ans experience to the table. Ping has his weakness not in leadership and work ethic but more on his connecting with the public. He doesn't joke around. His demeanor is stern. He is all business. He keeps his personal life private though it has been
exposed in the past when weaponized against him. He has survived an organized vilification campaign which led to his becoming a fugitive. On the other hand, there is Tito Sen with his Tito, Vic and Joey and Eat Bulaga roots. The Dabarkads are a formidable force since they are rhe
base of the longest-running noontime show in the country. This is what got him elected to the Senate four times. His political provenance has roots in Cebu which is one of the most vote-rich provinces in the country. The province with the most number of voters is Cavite where
Lacson traces his roots in Imus. Sotto has been registering with voters in the Vice-Presidential race with double-digit ratings which is the same with his job approval as Senate President. Lacson finds himself in the fringes of the margin for error but this is due to public
perception. This can still be changed since he has crossed his Rubicon. It falls on him to convince the public why he should be the next President of the Philippines. The Lacson-Sotto tandem's advantage is they can appeal to the middle-of-the-road voters who don't identify with
neither the administration or the opposition. Recently released PSA data shows the three most populous regions as NCR, Region 3 and Region 4-A. The ten most vote-rich provinces are in the order of number of voters are Cavite, Rizal, Laguna, Bulacan, Pampanga, Batangas, Cebu,
Bataan and La Union. A digital campaign can target specific demographic parameters which wasn't a reality in the past. Lacson-Sotto has a clearer path to a possible victory than the opposition will ever have in this race. Voters who are tired of the old narrative being peddled by
the opposition will see Lacson-Sotto as an opportunity to look at the issues with a new perspective. With the 2022 race looking at possibility of having only three candidates at most, it may well become a referendum on the Duterte administration. Do voters want more of the same
or do they want a change? This is why it is essential that this election be issues-based and not personality-based. The future of our country depends on it in these times where the only certainty is uncertainty.

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