Sen. Manny Pacquiao’s new role as Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) president should bode well for the party as well as his future political plans, Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel said Thursday.
“First of all, my warmest congratulations to Sen. Manny. Under his leadership, I hope that he can strengthen our party and lead us to victory in the 2022 elections,” said Pimentel, a deputy speaker.
Pacquiao, an eight-division boxing champion, now finds himself shoulder-to-shoulder with President Duterte in terms of his position in the ruling party. Duterte is PDP-Laban chairman.
It has been over a year since Duterte mentioned Pacquiao’s supposed political plans during the birth anniversary celebration of Marinduque Rep. now House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, creating a buzz especially with those in attendance at the party, Pimentel being one of them.
Pimentel then described the soon to be 42-year-old Pacquiao as being “well-qualified” to run for a higher position.
“We all know also very well that Sen. Pacquiao is capable of running in another or a higher position. He is well-qualified naman. Nakita naman po natin na maganda naman ang takbo sa posisyon niya bilang senador (We’ve seen that his tenure as senator has gone well) and I can’t see any reason why he can’t aspire for a higher position,” the Surigao congressman said in November 2019.
Pimentel continues to hold onto this belief, saying Thursday: “I believe his (Pacquiao) new position can catapult him to whatever he wants to do in 2022.”
Long-running rumors have said that Pacquiao is running for either vice president or president in the May 2022 polls. In the last presidential election in 2016, the Filipino boxing hero wasn’t qualified to run for either position yet due to his age.
Pacquiao was known to host high-level party meetings in his Metro Manila home before the pandemic.