By Eddie G. Alinea
MANILA/LOS ANGELES — It seems there is no stopping Sen. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao from running for president in the May 9, 2022 elections.
This according to his spokesman, former congressman Monico Puentevella, who said Pacquiao’s presidential bid is “already cast in stone.”
Deputy Speaker Jose Atienza Jr. also said the senator will be running for president and he will support him.
Puentevella said Pacquiao will resume talks with Vice President Leni Robredo, who is perceived to be the Liberal Party and 1Sambayan bet for president, when he returns to the Philippines after his August 21 boxing match in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Meanwhile, the Aksyon Demokratiko Party vowed to support its new member and president Manila Mayor Francisco Domagoso, more popularly known by his actor’s name Isko Moreno, should he pursue his presidential bid.
Aksyon Demokratiko Secretary General Ernest Ramel said that Moreno will be their priority if he decides to seek the highest post in the land.
Moreno’s supporters said the mayor may run for president now that he is being battered by President Rodrigo Duterte himself.
“I’m sure they’ll meet again when MP (Manny Pacquiao) comes back,” Puentevella said in a CNN television interview. “MP always meets with people who want to meet with him. Nothing to lose ’cause he’s running for President,” he added.
Robredo earlier disclolsed that she has talked with Pacquiao at least twice in an effort to build a “broader alliance” and find a “common ground” among other political contenders ahead of the polls. She has also met with Sen. Panfilo Lacson who has declared his intention to run for president.
Puentevella said Pacquiao’s fight on August 21 could be last fight on the boxing ring.
Pacquiao was ousted by party officials of the ruling PDP-Laban, a group that is now supporting a Senator Bong Go and President Rodrigo Duterte tandem for the 2022 polls.
Pacquiao, however, maintained that his replacement by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi was invalid as Cusi himself has been previously ousted as PDP-Laban member. Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, erstwhile PDP-Laban president and son of its founder, supported Pacquiao.