Professional boxer turned Senator Manny Pacquiao is set to run as President of the Republic of the Philippines in 2022, according to his Senate colleague Senator Panfilo Lacson.

In an interview with ANC’s Headstart today (March 19), Lacson mentioned that Pacquiao approached him multiple times to talk about the latter’s plan to run for the presidency next year. 

“Two or three times he approached me and sat beside me and he said, baka pwedeng mag-usap tayo.’ Kasi ‘yun nga, may plano nga siya, baka pwedeng tulungan siya especially sa budget, ‘yung mga ganun,” he shared during the interview.

Lacson notes that Pacquiao was discussing plans of running in next year’s Presidential Election as early as 2020. 

“Yeah, that early. I think this was late last year,” he said. 

Despite Pacquiao’s interest in running as president, Lacson says the former doesn’t want to focus on the idea of the presidency, but more on the COVID-19 pandemic. Lacson says he admires that part of Pacquiao. 

“Sinabi naman niya and he’s quite open about it. Although ayaw niyang pag-usapan because of COVID. In fairness to him, consistent naman siya na COVID na muna tayo, wag na muna ‘yung politika,” Lacson said. 

Currently, Senator Pacquiao holds the position of national president of PDP-Laban Party. Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte serves as the National Chairman of the party. 

Last week, Pacquiao urged members of his party to focus on the pandemic and not politics, specifically the 2022 Presidential Election, after a resolution was circulated among party members urging Duterte to run again next year, but as vice president. 

He said the resolution circulated to the members of the party was not sanctioned by him. 

“Nananawagan ako bilang acting president ng partido na wag muna politika, tulong muna tayo,” he stressed.

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