Presidential aspirant Senator Manny Pacquiao on Wednesday, welcomed some 700 local candidates in Maguindanao and North Cotabato province as new members of the Progressive Movement for the Devolution Iniatives (PROMDI).
Pacquiao, who administered their oath-taking rites at the Family Country Hotel and Convention, said that he is seeking the presidency so that he can uplift the lives the people and this should be the same motivation of the new PROMDI members.
The oath-taking ceremony took place a day after Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go announced that he is withdrawing from the presidential race in the upcoming May 2022 elections.
According to Pacquiao, he is now bent on
pursuing his dream to become a champion in public service after making it to the top as the world’s only eight-division boxing champion.
“I have reached the top as the world’s only eight division world boxing champion but now I want to be a champion in public service,” Pacquiao said in Visayan dialect.
“I’m running for president because I want to create history as the one who made a true and meaningful change for our nation,” he added.
The country’s boxing icon also said that along with his no-nonsense campaign to jail corrupt officials, his administration would launch massive programs for free housing, employment and livelihood.
Pacquiao also vowed to build free housing for all homeless Filipinos and provide zero interest loans for micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
The Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban) standard bearer also promised to push for a free hospitalization program for all senior citizens.
Pacquiao, during the oath-taking ceremony, took the time to also defend his decision to support PROMDI gubernatorial bet Hajji Yasser Ampatuan, whom he describes as one who is hardworking, honest and kind.
Pacquiao reiterated that Hajji Yasser should not be condemned for being an Ampatuan.
He said Yasser was not involved in the horrific Maguindanao Massacre that killed 58 people including 34 members of the media in 2009.