Vice presidential aspirant Emmanuel "Manny" Lopez vowed to be a working and productive vice president should he be elected to the second highest post in the country.

Emmanuel “Manny” Lopez and John Castriciones
Emmanuel “Manny” Lopez and John Castriciones

"In the event that we really get lucky, actually, I am very confident that I could do the job as vice president. I am less confident in the political process that will install you to assume the responsibilities and duties of a vice president, but you know, I believe that I have the confidence, the qualifications and experience in the determination and commitment to serve our country as a second highest ranking official of the Republic," Lopez said during The Manila Times TV's "Diretsong Pananaw" program hosted by Al Vitangcol and Kim Lokin.

Lopez is running for the vice presidency under the Labor Party of the Philippines (LPP), which he described as a democratic socialist political party.

"In terms of programs of government. I see that we are facing tremendous challenges. Number one, this pandemic has really devastated our economy and our people continue to suffer, and the government definitely could do better," Lopez said.

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First and foremost, Lopez said the government's pandemic management should be improved, saying that it took awhile before the government really came out with solutions as appropriate and necessary to address the repercussions of the pandemic.

Apart from being the vice president, Lopez said he would also seek the portfolio of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) or the Department of Trade and Industry(DTI) for him to efficiently and effectively help the new president in running the affairs of the country.

"As vice president, I believe that you can also pursue programs, say under the DTI or DFA, to attract foreign direct investments to come up with programs that could improve the way to the business, to improve our comparative advantage in order to attract more investments, create jobs and livelihood and opportunities that will propel our economic recovery program, so there is a merits of purpose from the legislative as well as with the executive," he said.

Also, on "Diretsong Pananaw," former Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) secretary John Castriciones vowed to champion the cause of Filipino farmers if he will be elected as senator in the May 9, 2022 elections.

"When I went around the country, I found out that there are a lot of loopholes in the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) and there are lot of what we call needed laws to be passed by our Congress, particularly the Senate, so we could address the means of our farmers," said Castriciones, who is running for senator under the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban party (Cusi wing).

"You know, 60 to 70 percent of our people are involved in agriculture. We are an agricultural country and ironically, ang nangyayari sa atin (what is happening to us) we are still importing rice from our neighboring countries. And that is ironic; that is an insult to us so I decided that I would have to grab this opportunity so I can contribute a little knowledge being a lawyer at that, so that we can craft laws that would enhance and uplift the economic lives of farmers," he added.

"Unang una (First and foremost), I would like to champion the cause of our farmers. Kailangan na nating bigyan lupa ang ating mga magsasaka (We need to provide land for our farmers). So, I am for the continuity of distributing lands to our farmers. Can you imagine, we have a lot of idle lands, and yet they are not utilized. That is the reason that we need to continue this CARP although they are saying that this CARP has been there for the last 50 years and yet we have not really attained the very purpose and essence of the CARP," he stressed.

Lopez also shared that his real advocacy from the very beginning is federalism.

"I strongly believe that the people in Metro Manila or in the cities do not have the monopolies of intelligence and management skills when it comes to the bureaucracy. Kaya sabi ko bigyan natin ng pagkakataon 'yung mga taga probinsya at mga taga lalawigan (I said, let's give the people from the province the chance) to come forward and share their talents and skills.