LIPA CITY, Batangas — Presidential aspirant Sen. Manny Pacquiao is against the tack of other candidates prepared to withdraw their candidacies for their parties’ convenience.
“My decision is my decision; I will not change it willy-nilly. We need to have our own convictions to proceed with something or not, and not move forward then go back on our word. That’s a dangerous trait for a leader, you’re never going to be sure where he stands,” the retired champion boxer said.
Pacquiao paid a courtesy call Thursday to Lipa City Mayor Eric Africa and fellow Senator Ralph Recto – who is backing another presidential hopeful, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Domagoso.
His comment was a thinly-veiled jab at the ruling PDP-Laban, which had Sen. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa file his certificate of candidacy for president at the last minute. Dela Rosa later admitted he would have preferred that Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio take his place as the ruling party’s standard bearer.
If Dela Rosa does not withdraw from the race, Pacquiao said he would leave his fate -- and that of his fellow senator and Mindanaoan -- to the voters.
“The people will choose, so let’s enlighten the people on our programs to move our nation forward,” he said, while guaranteeing he and running mate Rep. Lito Atienza will not pull out from the race.
Pacquiao, his wife Jinkee and Atienza visited Batangas and also had a closed-door meeting with Archbishop Gilbert Garcera.
They later gave out relief goods to 4,000 residents affected by the Taal Volcano eruption and COVID-19 pandemic in the town of Balayan and were set to have dinner with local pastors.