Read this in The Manila Times digital edition.

AFTER being an independent for long, Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson will join the Partido para sa Demokratikong Reporma and is expected to be nominated as its standard bearer in the 2022 national elections.

The senator on Wednesday said Partido Reporma's president, former House speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, is expected to formally install him as party chairman on Thursday, July 29.

The Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) was the last political party that Lacson joined when he ran for the Senate in 2001 and won.

Lacson will run for president in 2022 with longtime ally, Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto 3rd, Nationalist People's Coalition chairman, as his running mate.

He said in the 2004 presidential election, the LDP, along with the late former senator Agapito "Butch" Aquino who was then the party secretary-general, then-representatives Carlos Padilla and Rolex Suplico, and others "broke away" when the late FPJ (Fernando Poe Jr.) was adopted as its presidential candidate without a party convention.

"Since then, I remained independent until now that I'll be joining Reporma, which was the party that launched the candidacy of former SND (secretary of National Defense) Renato de Villa [in the 1998 presidential elections]," Lacson said in a text message.

The senator said it was Alvarez who, in 2018, broached the idea for him to seek the presidency.

"Kaya nga iba 'yung feeling ko ngayon kaysa noong 2004. Kasi noon, para kaming mga ulila (I feel different now compared to 2004. Because before, I felt abandoned)," he said.