SCIENCE CITY OF MUNOZ, Nueva Ecija - PROMDI Party presidential candidate Sen. Manny Pacquiao on Friday, March 4 said rival former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. lacks the moral ascendancy to lead the country in view of his being convicted on a tax violation.
Responding to questions raised by journalists during a media briefing here, Pacquiao was quite vocal at criticizing voters who support candidates with records of being dirty. However, he did not say if he was referring to Marcos.
“Uulitin ko - ang boboto sa mga magnanakaw na kumakandidato ay iyon ang tunay na bobo. I am not referring to a particular candidate but to all candidates from the national down to local level who are corrupt. (I repeat- those who will vote for corrupt candidates are the real stupid persons),” he said.
Pressed by reporters to comment on whether or not he believes Marcos has the >moral ascendancy to lead” the country, Pacquiao said: “Para sa akin, kasi kandidato rin ako, siyempre masasabi kong wala. (As for me since I am also a candidate, I can say he has none.).” “Ewan ko ang taumbayan, alam naman nila siguro ito. Matatalino naman ang taumbayan. (I don’t know, people may be aware of it. They are intelligent.),” said Pacquiao who boasts of maintaining a clean record as a public official.
The country’s boxing icon was apparently referring to the charges of violation of the National Internal Revenue Code of which he was found guilty of committing. The Supreme Court upheld the decision of the Lower Courts.
Asked to cite the basis for this opinion, Pacquiao said the SC decision is one, adding that Marcos was also implicated in the Napoiles cases.
“Unang una alam natin ang isyu ng corruption, alalahanin natin bayan, na kasali siya sa Napoles (case). Baka nakalimutan na ng taumbayan. (First of all we know the issue of corruption, let us be reminded that he was implicated in the Napoles case. The people may have forgotten this,” said Pacquiao.
“Ayon sa Supreme Court (decision) bakit hindi ka maniniwala. Walang na tayo ng gobyerno kung hindi ka maniniwala sa desisyon ng Supreme Court,. (Why should I not believe the SC decision. We have to believe the SC decision, otherwise its would look like we no longer have a government).” the Mindanaoaqn senator explained.
Pacquiao, who is also representing the PDP-Laban (Pimentel wing) in the presidential race, has vowed to prioritize the fight against corruption in the government if he wins the presidential race.