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Manny Pacquiao eyes vice presidency in 2016 polls

(Updated 9:22 p.m.) Amid a warm welcome in Mexico during his world press tour with opponent Juan Manuel Marquez, Filipino boxing icon and Sarangani Representative Manny Pacquiao said he is eyeing the vice presidency in the 2016 elections. "Come 2016 I am going to run (for) vice president... No more boxing at that time," Pacquiao said in an interview aired Friday on dzBB. But the chairman of the Commission on Elections threw a reality check on Pacquiao’s hopes of a VP run less than five years from now. Chairman Sixto Brillantes said Friday that the champion boxer does not meet the age qualification. “Baka naman nagbibiro lang siya. He can’t run for either Vice President or President by 2016," Brillantes said in a phone interview Friday. Listen to the report here: The Comelec chief cited provisions in the 1987 Constitution stating that a candidate must at least be 40 years old on election day before he or she can run for Vice President. Pacquiao was born on December 17, 1978. He will only be 37 years old during the May 2016 elections. “No person may be elected President unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, able to read and write, at least forty years of age on the day of the election, and a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding such election," according to Section 2 of Article VII of the charter. The section right after that provides that the Vice President shall “have the same qualifications and term of office and be elected with, and in the same manner, as the President." Pacquiao satisfies all the requirements except for the age limit. Brillantes however said Pacquiao can run for senator by 2016 because the minimum age requirement for senatorial candidates is 35. Pacquiao was quoted as saying he would seek the gubernatorial post in Sarangani province in Mindanao before making a bid for the country's second top government post. The next midterm elections in the Philippines will be held in 2013, while the next presidential elections are scheduled in 2016. Pacquiao first ran for congressman in 2007 in General Santos City but lost to veteran politician Darlene Antonino-Custodio. In 2010, he won a House seat on his second attempt, this time representing Sarangani province. He defeated businessman Roy Chiongbian. Pacquiao’s record in Congress The Sarangani representative serves as vice chairperson of three congressional committees: Youth and Sports Development, Poverty Alleviation, and Millennium Development Goals. Last November, the House said in a statement that “inspired by the unprecedented feat of world boxing champion Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao, the House Committee on Youth and Sports Development has approved a bill that grants P15,000 in monthly retirement pension for the retired professional Filipino athletes that won world titles or world championships." The pension is contained in the consolidated version of House Bills 2094, 38 and 1964 principally authored by Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Rep. Mark Aeron H. Sambar and Reps. Pedro Acharon Jr. of South Cotabato and Mark Villar of Las Pinas City, respectively. Pacquiao is also a member of 12 other House committees, including Mindanao Affairs, National Defense and Security, Public Works, and Aquaculture and Fisheries Resources. According to House records on Pacquiao has sponsored or authored seven bills. He has two bills on women’s health. One seeks to establish breast care centers in every region while the other wants to curb trafficking in women and children. He asked Congress, through House Bill (HB) 2379, to give Sarangani its own tertiary provincial hospital. Pacquiao also filed HB 2380, which seeks to stop mobile phone service providers from sending unsolicited text messages. Pacquiao co-authored 35 House bills and resolutions, of which the most controversial is HB 00013 on the safety and protection of the unborn child which has figured in the intense public debate on the reproductive health (RH) bill. Last May, Pacquiao sparred with veteran legislator and current House Minority Leader Edcel Lagman in a highly-anticipated and nationally-televised House debate on the RH bill. Pacquiao delivered prepared remarks and then interpellated Lagman with ready-made talking points.
Pacquiao-Marquez press tour rolls on The eight-division world champion is in Mexico, the fourth leg of a press tour for his bout with Marquez on November 12 when he revealed his vice presidential ambition. The press tour, which started in Manila, crossed over to New York where Pacquiao had a duet with Dan Hill, the singer who popularized Pacman's signature song "Sometimes when we touch." From there the two boxers traveled to Los Angeles for an event at the Beverly Hills Hotel before landing in Mexico where they were met by an estimated crowd of 30,000 people for a press conference. During the New York leg of the world press tour, Pacquiao's celebrated trainer Freddie Roach said he wants his ward to have two more major fights before gladly allowing the reigning World Boxing Organization welterweight champion to finally retire from the sport. One of the planned two bouts will take place two months from now, a third fight opposite Mexican rival Marquez in Las Vegas. Pacquiao, the first and only eight-division world champion, has won 10 world titles so far. He is also the current No. 1 pound-for-pound boxer in the world with a 53-3-2 win-loss-draw record (38 KOs). — With a report by Renee Fopalan/MRT/LBG/ELR/VS, GMA News