Waiting for Pacman


Jullie Y. Daza

Without trying to steal the thunder from Isko Moreno, the pressure is now on Senator Manny Pacquiao. Who’s going to be his running mate for vice president? Last we heard, there were six guys aspiring for that position, none of them audacious enough to drop the Champ’s name as sparring partner.

We’re in the funny situation of a vice president-to-be PRRD running for now without a candidate for president, while the just-retired-from-boxing Pacman doesn’t seem to be in a hurry choosing his VP bet. A Pacquiao-Duterte ticket in the works? How exciting! At the same time, VP Robredo is driving Antonio Trillanes IV antsier each day as she takes her sweet time trying to decide how, if, and when she should throw her hat into the ring.

Which leaves Yorme hogging the headlines and studio lights with his partner, Dr. Willie Ong, while the Ping Lacson-Tito Sotto tandem is keeping their eyes on the ball, “never mind the others.”

Pacman has not only declared his aspirations, he has blueprinted a “22 Rounds” agenda centered on mass housing and eradicating poverty. He has built villages and intends to build more, said the Champ’s most ardent but apolitical fans, a couple we shall call Mr. and Mrs. JJ.

“His heart is in the right place,” stated the lady. “He’ll make a good leader,” said her husband, “he is a good person, humble, honest.”

I have five friends who are keenly, politically aware, and already two of them have cast their lot with the retired pugilist. However, friend No. 5 fears “Pacquiao’s good intentions won’t be enough.”

Can Pacman attract voters from classes A to E? Well, Mr. and Mrs. JJ are prominent, highly successful in business, they live in an exclusive village with children enrolled in expensive schools. Mr. JJ lists Pacquiao’s unique achievements, none of which his rivals can match: He was invited to the White House for a private tete-a-tete with Barack Obama. Spoke before graduates of Oxford University. Threw the first pitch in an important baseball game. Invited by the Boston Celtics to their locker room during a championship series game.

And don’t forget his wealth, a king’s ransom of priceless trophies, belts, medals, awards and promise to expose corruption in government.