The ruling Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) is open to having Senator Manny Pacquiao included in its list of senatorial bets in 2022.
PDP-Laban Secretary General Melvin Matibag said the party still sees Pacquiao as its strongest senatorial contender and would reach out to him after the senator’s world title fight in Las Vegas scheduled for August 22.
He added that while 90 percent of the party is backing the tandem of Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong Go” and President Rodrigo Duterte as its standard bearer for 2022, those loyal to Pacquiao can still push for the boxer as the party’s presidential bet in next year’s polls.
“If they want to nominate Senator Pacquiao as a candidate on that convention to be standard-bearer of the party, they may do so. Everybody is welcome to do that,” Matibag said.
PDP-Laban will hold a convention on September 8 in Bulacan where the Go-Duterte tandem is expected to be formally declared.
Pacquiao belongs to the faction in PDP-Laban lead by Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel 3rd. Pacquiao was ousted as party president in July after criticizing the Duterte administration as having worsening corruption.
The current PDP-Laban president is Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, who was ousted as vice chairman by the camp associated with Pacquiao also in July.
Also, the PDP-Laban has initially identified 12 individuals mostly made up of active Cabinet secretaries for its senatorial line up for 2022.