Senator Manny Pacquiao, who will be running for president in next year’s elections is “open” to teaming up and joining forces with Vice President Leni Robredo who is also vying for the post.
In interviews with local media outfits, Pacquiao said “anything can happen” and “anything’s possible” until Nov. 15.
Pacquiao also said he is “open” to running as Robredo’s vice president if this will increase the chance of their tandem winning against candidates being backed by President Duterte.
However, Pacquiao also said he is “happy” with former Manila mayor Lito Atienza running as his vice president.
“Hanggang hindi pa tapos ang November 15, anything can happen, possible sa lahat ng mangyayari. Hindi tayo nag-close ng door hanggang nandyan pa ‘yan pero happy ako sa aking Vice President ngayon si Lito Atienza.” (Anything can happen until November 15, anything’s possible. We are not closing our doors, but I am happy with my vice presidential running mate, Lito Atienza.),” Pacquiao, quoted in an ABS-CBN News Channel interview said.
The Commission on Elections has earlier set Nov. 15 as the deadline for political parties to “replace” or “substitute” their candidates in the local and national polls in 2022.
Also joining the presidential race are Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr., the only son, and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos, Senator Panfilo Lacson, and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno.
Pacquiao and Robredo have both filed their certificates of candidacies, although the two camps have met in the past to discuss the possibility to field a “unified ticket” in 2022.
Robredo, a staunch critic of the Duterte administration’s so-called “war on drugs,” promised to anchor her platform on “competence and integrity.”
Robredo was earlier endorsed by the 1Sambayan coalition, which pushed for a united opposition running against Duterte’s hand-picked successor. But in her talks with other opposition candidates, she said she encountered basic differences and principles, especially on how to run the country.
Pacquiao, immediately after retiring from professional boxing, announced his intention to run as president and was reportedly the first to file his candidacy. He has vowed to address the COVID-19 pandemic in the hopes of allowing the Philippine economy to recover.