Senator Manuel “Manny” Pacquiao, 42, is running for president in the May 2022 national elections, it was reported last week.
The announcement was issued after Pacquiao, the multi-titled Filipino boxing icon who is famous around the world, accepted the nomination of the PDP-Laban faction that he and Senator Koko Pimentel head to be their standard official bearer during their national assembly.
For now, Pacquiao is squaring off for the presidency against fellow senators Panfilo Lacson of the Reform Party and Bong Go, who represents the so-called Cusi faction of the PDP-Laban led by President Duterte.
Pacquiao, invoking God’s will, stressed he is running on a platform of good governance and vowed to imprison the corrupt if he wins (which was quite similar to the campaign promises of Mr. Duterte in 2016).
Last September 8, the PDP-Laban (Cusi wing), during their own national gathering, anointed Go as their presidential candidate and Mr. Duterte as his vice presidential running mate.
“In the name of the PDP-Laban and each Filipino dreaming of a better life, Manny Pacquiao is ready to guide and lead you in these hard times, to rise up and progress,” Pacquiao said during his acceptance speech.
Pimentel, the party chairman, said Pacquiao is being given the leeway to choose his vice presidential partner to ensure there is excellent chemistry among them.
Pimentel took the opportunity to lash out at his erstwhile colleagues in the Cusi wing, describing them as “hijackers” of the political party which his father (the late Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr.) founded several decades ago.
He likened them to persons who hitched a ride on the PDP-Laban bandwagon in 2016, and now want to grab the steering wheel after discovering it was “attractive” and suited their own selfish interests.