Will Manny Pacquiao gun for a Senate seat in next year’s elections?
The Sarangani congressional representative and world boxing icon remained evasive when The Manila Times pressed him to discuss his political plans for 2016, saying he is still waiting for the “right time” before making any declaration.
While there have been rumors that he is slotted in the senatorial ticket of Vice President Jejomar Binay’s United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), Pacquiao said he would only confirm when he files his certificate of candidacy in October.
“Wala pa akong desisyon. May time pa. Mahaba pa oh. Kapag nag-file ako, saka ako mag-a-announce na kandidato ako [I haven’t decided yet. There’s still time. I’ll make the announcement after I file my candidacy],” he said at the sidelines of Google Street View imagery launch at the Manila Marriott Hotel in Pasay City (Metro Manila).
The boxer, however, admitted that representatives of political parties are talking to him.
According to Pacquiao, his presence in UNA’s launch last July does not necessarily mean he is already with the party.
“Kinakausap ako kung ano ang magan “Kinakausap ako kung ano ang magandang gagawin for the country. Natural naman ’yun. Basta ako, ang iniisip ko lang, kahit naman sa boxing career ko, ay kung ano ang para sa kapakanan ng sambayanang Pilipino. Kung sino susuportahan ko this coming election, i-a-announce ko naman ’yan.”
[People have been talking to me on what’s the best thing to do for our country. That’s natural. As far as I’m concerned, even in my boxing career, I go for what’s best for the Filipino people. I will also announce the candidates I’m endorsing],” he said.
Pacquiao, however, revealed that he will form a party-list group–One PacMan–that will champion the welfare of Filipino athletes.
He said the government’s support to athletes is not enough and there is a need to address their problems to boost sports development in the country.
“Kulang talaga ang suporta para sa mga atleta natin [Our athletes lack support]. So the main purpose of One PacMan is the athletes, to help them, give them benefits, and to help them compete in higher level,” Pacquiao added.
“Kailangan natin ng effort to promote sports. So iyon siguro ang kailangan na tutukan natin [We have to make an effort to promote sports. That is where we should focus],” he said.
Pacquiao clarified that he would appoint someone as chairman of One PacMan so he could still run for another position.
He is currently handling groups of professional and amateur boxers who are training in his boxing gyms in Davao and Digos cities in Mindanao.