Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. was all praises for Sen. Manny Pacquiao for his greatness in and out of the square ring, to the extent of drawing a parallel between the legacy of the EDSA People Power revolt in 1986 and the honor that the eight-division world boxing champion has given his country time and again.
But Locsin has a piece of advice to the Filipino people on how to better appreciate Pacquaio’s greatness: “Don’t vote for but honor him.”
In a tweet on Thursday, Locsin reacted to reports that retired Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio, lead convenor of the 1Sambayan coalition, dismissed Pacquiao’s chances of becoming one of their choices in the May 2022 presidential elections due to the latter’s “lack of competence.”
“Yes but he is a good and honest man in every fibre of his being; kindness personified in the man who gave our country the greatest honor since EDSA 86; he made us proud again to be Filipino. He did it with less fuss; in a square ring-again and again. Don’t vote for but honor him,” the country’s top diplomat tweeted.
On Wednesday, Carpio alleged that Pacquaio, seen as one of the major contenders in the 2022 presidential race, lacked the competence to lead the country, citing his absences when he was still a congressman representing his home province of Saranggani and now as a senator.
“As congressman, Pacquiao was the No. 1 absentee, he was the topnotcher in absences in Congress. As senator, he again topped, he was No. 1 in absences,” Carpio said in a television interview, adding that the basic qualification of competence was “not there.”
Pacquiao, however, defended himself from Carpio’s allegations about his previous absences in the lower house, saying there were times that he needed to go to his district to monitor the “Pacman Village” he had built to provide free housing for his poor constituents.
The self-made sports icon is being rumored to become either the presidential or vice presidential running mate to the likes of former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, and former Defense Secretary Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro.