It's all about Mindanao progress; Sara, politics not discussed in Duterte-Pacquiao meet

Published November 11, 2021, 3:25 PM

by Ben Rosario

Before fake news factories start churning out their produce for social media consumption, the public should be advised that the recent meeting in Malacañang between President Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Emmanuel Pacquiao zeroed in on just one topic – projects for Mindanao’s progress.

President Duterte pose with Senators Bong Go and Manny Pacquiao and Rep. Eric Pineda after a meeting in Malacañang

1PACMAN Partylist Rep. Eric Pineda stressed that the Duterte-Pacquiao meeting was scheduled many days ahead of the decision of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte to withdraw her candidacy for reelection, thus, this topic was not taken up.

“Wala naman silang pinag-usapan tungkol sa eleksyon. Mga programa lamang tungkol sa Mindanao development ang naging usapan (They did not discuss anything about the election. Programs on Mindanao development was what was discussed),” said Pineda.

Pineda, a close friend and supporter of Pacquiao, accompanied the senator to the meeting that took place Tuesday, Nov. 9.

Also present was Senator Christopher “Bong” Go.

Pineda said they had anticipated numerous speculations to come out after the meeting, particularly those relating to reports that Mayor Duterte could be eyeing the presidency.

“But the meeting was set days before Sara’s withdrawal from local elections started rumors that she might run for president,” he explained.

Pacquiao, Pineda stressed, remains focused in his presidential bid and that supporters should be assured that this is what the senator will pursue.

Pineda, chairman of the House Committee on Labor and Employment, said Pacquiao and Duterte may have exchanged heated words as a result of the PDP-Laban leadership controversy but both value their friendship.

“Both leaders are from Mindanao. They share a common interest of ensuring peace and progress in the region,” Pineda said as he described the Malacañang meeting as “very cordial’.

Pacquiao is the only Mindanaoan among the leading aspirants who filed their certificate of candidacy for president.