President Rodrigo Duterte has urged his party-mate and Senator Manny Pacquiao to rethink his plan to seek the presidency.
He also reiterated his opposition to any attempt to field his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, in the 2022 presidential elections.
“You politicians should think about it carefully. Manny, I think Manny is entertaining, [but] you can’t get anything from this work except being tired,” Duterte told Pacquiao in his speech on Monday night.
Duterte has referred to Pacquiao as “president-to-be” first in November 2016 and second in December of that year.
Pacquiao, for his part, said the presidency is “God’s will” as he disclosed his plan to make a reelection bid as senator in the 2022 polls.
“Being a President is anointed by God. I will be in whatever God’s plan. But now, I’m thinking of my second term,” Pacquiao said during the press conference of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Tuesday.
“I ran for senator to help. Only God allows one to be a President. I am happy in fulfilling my duties as public servant for the sake of the people. It’s my mission to fight for their rights,” he added.
The ruling PDP-Laban appointed Pacquiao as its “leader” in the Senate last August.
Aside from Pacquiao, there were five other Senate members of the party: PDP-Laban president Aquilino Pimentel III, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, Christopher Go, Francis Tolentino, and Ronald dela Rosa.
Pacquiao served as the campaign manager of the party in this year’s senatorial elections. Of the five fielded candidates, only former Maguindanao Rep. Zajid Mangudadatu lost his senatorial bid.
In a January interview with the South China Morning Post, the eight-division titlist downplayed his possible bid for the presidency and said he was focused on boxing as he was preparing then to defend his WBA welterweight title against American Adrien Broner.
In 2015, his former boxing promoter Bob Arum predicted he would run for senator in 2016 and possibly for president in 2022.
Meanwhile, the President said he would not want his daughter to suffer the same frustrations over the presidency.
“Were it not for the love of country, that’s the only thing that sustains me. You would not get anything from this job except work and worry, and be under stress,” Duterte said.
Several politicians earlier said they would be willing to back the younger Duterte if she joined the 2022 presidential race.
She also said she was not thinking about the presidency as she was focused on her leadership in Duterte’s bailiwick, Davao City.
However, her father made similar pronouncements in 2016, months before he filed his certificate of candidacy for president.