Senator Manny Pacquiao on Friday became the first presidential aspirant who filed his certificate of candidacy for the May 2022 elections.
Pacquiao’s running-mate, Buhay party-list Representative Lito Atienza, also filed his COC for vice president.
Pacquiao said he will run under PROMDI (Probinsiya Muna Development Initiative) and not PDP-Laban due to the ongoing infighting opposite the faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso CUsi, in which President Rodrigo Duterte is aligned.
“Dahil may problema po ang ating partido na PDP, minabuti na lang po, napagkasuduan namin na PROMDI ang gagamitin nating [Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance],” Pacquiao said in a press conference after his filing.
(Because we have some problems in PDP, we decided to use the CONA from PROMDI.)
Recently, the PDP-Laban faction led by Pacquiao has forged an alliance with PROMDI and People’s Champ Movement. The alliance is called “MP3.”
In filing his candidacy, Pacquiao reiterated his main advocacy which is to eradicate corruption in the government.
“‘Pag ako po ay nilagay ng Panginoon d’yan, pinapangako ko po hindi lamang sa taumbayan, sa sambayanang Pilipino, kundi kasama po d’yan ang pangako sa Panginoon, na kailangan magsama-sama sila sa kulungan at bigyan ng hustisya ang ating mga kababayan nang lumago ang ekonomiya ng ating bansa at magkaroon tayo ng tunay na pagbabago,” Pacquiao said.
(If God allows me to become the president, I promise not only to the people, but also to God, that I will ensure the corrupt individuals will be put to jail, to give justice to our countrymen, to help our economy grow, and to bring real change in the country.)
He also vowed to properly address the COVID-19 pandemic, eradicate poverty, boost the economy, increase employment, improve the internet in the country, and lower the rates of electricity.
Pacquiao also vouched for Atienza’s experience in public service.
“Pinili ko po si Congressman Atienza dahil unang-una ‘yung pagseserbisyo niya po sa taumbayan ay ilang taon na po, more than 50 years ang paglilingkod sa bayan at nakita ko ang sinseridad niya at eksperto niya at hangarin na makatulong sa ating bayan,” he said.
(I chose Congressman Atienza because he has served the country for more than 50 years and I saw his sincerity, expertise, and his determination to help the country.)
Pacquiao was accompanied by his wife, Jinkee, and Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III. He filed his COC at around 8:53 a.m.
Before he filed his COC, Pacquiao had a motorcade around Manila City.
Meanwhile, the lone senatorial bet of the Pacquiao-led PDP-Laban faction, former governor Lutgardo Barbo, also filed his COC on Friday morning.
In his speech after filing his COC, Barbo said he will push for anti-dynasty law and anti-political turncoatism measures in the Senate.
He likewise maintained that the Pacquiao faction was the “original and true” PDP-Laban, calling the rival faction as the “hijacking wing.”
“Kaya nagkagulo-gulo ang PDP-Laban kasi nung nagkaroon ng general assembly sa Cebu [The reason why we are having problems in PDP-Laban because of the general assembly in Cebu],” he said, claiming that Cusi wing’s plan is to push for the president-vice president tandem of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and President Duterte.
Barbo also hit Duterte over his refusal to disclose the Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net worth, the case against him before the International Criminal Court, and his plans to run for vice president.
“Hindi pwedeng sabihin [You cannot say] ‘I will run for vice president because I will have immunity.’ No, you don’t have any immunity. It’s only the president of the republic that has immunity from suit,” he said.
The filing of COC for national posts — scaled down this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic — is being held at the Harbor Garden Tent inside the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila compound in Pasay City. —KBK, GMA News