Social media was abuzz with reactions while some political analysts shared similar opinion about the joint press conference held by several presidential candidates in a luxury hotel on Easter Sunday.
In that briefing, presidential aspirants Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, Senator Ping Lacson, and former defense secretary Norberto Gonzales asserted they will push through with their respective bids.
“Hinding-hindi kami magbibitaw sa kampanya. Ang bawat isa sa amin ay magpapatuloy sa aming mga sariling kandidatura upang maging mga karapat-dapat na pagpilian ng ating sambayanang Pilipino,” Moreno read their joint statement.
The three male presidential hopefuls also ganged up on Vice President Leni Robredo — the lone female candidate seeking the country’s top post — claiming her camp was behind the alleged attempts to make them withdraw their campaign.
Moreno repeatedly urged Robredo to quit the presidential race – a call that has been disowned after the briefing by his own running-mate Doc Willie Ong, Gonzales, Lacson, and Senate President Tito Sotto.
“Kung meron mang supreme sacrifice, ‘yung number 2 should do and start initiating the supreme sacrifice. Let Leni withdraw. Withdraw, Leni, if you love your country,” said the Manila City mayor.
Pre-election surveys have shown Robredo ranking second behind front-runner and former senator Bongbong Marcos Jr.
Meanwhile, the Vice President was seemingly unfazed by the remarks of her rivals as she asked her supporters to focus on their campaign, with few days left before the elections.
Hours after the press conference, netizens took to social media to express their thoughts by sharing memes and making #WithdrawLeni trend on Twitter.
For some political experts, the press conference seemingly targeting Robredo may backfire on her opponents.
“I don’t know what the thinking or the logic behind that Sunday presscon was. I think that adversely affected some of the candidates [involved],” campaign strategist Alan German told ANC.
“They should have joined forces to gain momentum. What I don’t understand is why they had to team up to do that, they didn’t anything substantial,” said political analyst Victor Manhit in a separate interview.
Thumbnail photo made via Canva