Despite political differences, Malacañang has expressed its gratitude to Senator Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Pacquiao for bringing pride to Filipinos all over the world as he confirmed that he is hanging his boxing gloves.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after Pacquiao announced his retirement from boxing this week.
In his press briefing on Thursday, September 30, Roque thanked the iconic boxer for what he did for the country.
“Nagpapasalamat tayo kay (We are thankful for) Senator Pacquiao because he has honored the country with his many successes. We share in the joys of his triumphs as well as his defeats,” he said.
“We are proud that he is a Filipino and he has made us very proud to be Filipinos,” he added.
In a tweet, Pacquiao said retiring from the world of boxing was one of the hardest decisions he has ever made.
To the greatest fans and the greatest sport in the world, thank you! Thank you for all the wonderful memories. This is the hardest decision I’ve ever made, but I’m at peace with it. Chase your dreams, work hard, and watch what happens. Good bye boxing. https://t.co/Bde4wO82sA— Manny Pacquiao (@MannyPacquiao) September 29, 2021
He made the same announcement via his official Facebook page.
Pacquiao announced his decision to run for president in the 2022 elections. To Malacañang, seeking the presidency was well within the Senator’s rights.
“Wala po, karapatan niyang (Pacquiao) tumakbo sa eleksyon (We have no reaction. It’s his right to run in the elections),” Roque said on September 20.
However, Roque noted that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has yet to decide which PDP-Laban faction should carry the party’s name during the polls.
The PDP-Laban has two warring factions namely that of Pacquiao’s and Senator Koko Pimentel, and that of Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.
The Cusi faction has nominated President Duterte as their candidate for vice president in next year’s polls while they named Duterte’s long-time ally Senator Bong Go as their candidate for president.
Duterte has accepted the nomination to run for vice president and has announced his intention to run in the polls. Go, on the other hand, insists that he is not interested.
PDP-Laban Executive Vice President Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles had said that the Cusi faction continues to hope that Go will change his mind and will file his certificate of candidacy by October 8. This is similar to how President Duterte suddenly decided to run for president in 2016 despite months of playing coy and saying he will not run.
In June this year, Duterte warned Pacquiao that he will “expose him as a liar” and will campaign against him if he cannot substantiate his claims that the current administration is three times more corrupt than its predecessor.