Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao said he will not give up his presidential aspirations and become the running mate of former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., or to slide down to vice president for the 2022 polls.
“While I’m flattered that various camps [are] seeking me to be their VP, it requires the presidency to fulfil my promises for the poor and for those who work hard to escape poverty,” Pacquiao said partly in Filipino in a statement.
While he did not directly state it, Pacquiao was responding to Senator Maria Imelda Josefa “Imee” Marcos that her brother Bongbong was considering a running mate that has strong followings in Mindanao or the Visayas.
She added Pacquiao is being considered as her brother’s running mate. The former boxing champion hails from Sarangani province.
Pacquiao is running under the wing of Senator Aquilino “Kiko” Pimentel III in the PDP-Laban while Marcos’ party is the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas.
Marcos, based on a latest survey by Publicus Asia, is the top presidential pick by almost half of the 1,500 respondents.
Of the 1,500 respondents polled by Publicus Asia from October 11 to 18 this year, 49.3 percent said they would vote for Marcos while 21.3 percent chose Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo.
Trailing Marcos and Robredo were Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso with 8.8 percent, Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson with 2.9 percent, Pacquiao with 2.8 percent, and Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa with 1.9 percent. Meanwhile, 8.6 percent were undecided on their choice for president for 2022.