Some netizens shared their views on Twitter about the Easter Sunday presscon hosted by presidential candidate Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson and three of his fellow aspirants against the underhanded tactics by their political opponents to cut them off the 2022 elections.

According to them, people and the members of the media themselves should not have framed the recent gathering by Lacson, Manila Mayor Francisco ‘Isko’ Moreno Domagoso and former National Defense secretary Norberto Gonzales as an attack against Vice-president Leni Robredo.

The netizens decried allegations of ‘toxic masculinity’ or ‘misogynism’ leveled against Lacson and his fellow male presidential candidates just because they shared their common experiences of being asked to withdraw their candidacies that would deprive other people of electing alternative choices.

“The presscon isn’t a misogynist act – rather it’s just a joint statement of these candidates for the VP’s ‘alleged’ call for withdrawal… What’s important before making any judgement is not to be blinded by your support to a particular candidate,” said a political science student named Michael (@bokimfr) in his threaded tweets.

Some netizens also expressed that they have grown tired of Robredo’s camp and her supporters always using the ‘gender card’ to deflect the criticisms hurled against their preferred candidate instead of providing better arguments in their own defense.

“Keep throwing off-tangent accusations like ‘toxic masculinity’ against people who raised valid (issues) against you and keep wondering why you’re widely despised.

Lather, rinse, repeat,” Roman Surtida (@rsurtida) wrote in his tweet.

The gathering at the Manila Peninsula hotel last April 17 was still trending on Twitter the next day, generating mixed to negative reactions, mostly coming from rabid Robredo fanatics who refused to acknowledge the seriousness of her fellow candidates’ claims.

Lacson has repeatedly stated during the presscon that his objective was not to destroy Robredo or ask her to withdraw.

Instead, Lacson said, he just wanted Robredo and her camp to level the playing field. “Do not force her opponents to pull out of the presidential race by spreading false information regarding the withdrawal talks that would essentially strip them of their supporters.”

“To add more clarity, our message is that you should not believe disinformation that either one of us is withdrawing — first and foremost — that is really our message. That’s the core message this morning,” said Lacson.

“Because we’re emphasizing this morning: Nobody will withdraw. We’ll go all the way until May 9, come what may. So, let us not buy into the propaganda, no matter how foul and below the belt.

Do not believe that one of us is going to withdraw because we’re going all the way up to Election Day.