Sotto unfazed by Sara's VP run, says unity talks with other bets unlikely

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 24) — Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III is unbothered by the candidacy of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, the last to join the roster of key vice presidential hopefuls in the 2022 polls.

Sotto, who is also gunning for the second highest post, told CNN Philippines' The Source on Wednesday that he and his running mate Sen. Panfilo Lacson remain focused on their campaign platforms to woo more supporters.

"Our campaign is programmed already all the way to May of 2022. It does not matter to us who else is running," Sotto said.

"We have said that before and we have an agreement, we will not talk about those other candidates who are running and competing with us in the same position," he added.

Sotto led preferred candidates for vice president in the Pulse Asia survey in September. He got a 25% rating, bumping President Rodrigo Duterte down to second place with 14%.

However, during that time, Duterte had not yet filed his bid for senator while his daughter Mayor Duterte had not yet filed her candidacy for the second highest post, in tandem with Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.

READ: Sara Duterte, Tito Sotto top Pulse Asia's latest survey for 2022 elections 

Meanwhile, Sotto said that unity talks with other non-administration aspirants will unlikely push through.

"Apparently, those that we have talked with or talked to, they are in favor lang (only) of unification but with them as the lead. It does not sit with us," he said.

Lacson previously proposed that candidates eventually withdraw from the race in support of one common bet who performs best in pre-election surveys.

Unification talks among presidential aspirants Sen. Ping Lacson, Vice President Leni Robredo, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, Sen. Manny Pacquiao fell through after each filed their own candidacy for the top post.