Businessman Ramon Ang, the newly appointed chief executive of San Miguel Corp., clarified a statement that was attributed to him regarding the possible presidential bid of Senator Manny Pacquiao in 2022.
"I was told that some people believe that I am endorsing Manny Pacquiao's candidacy. That is certainly not the case," he said.
Ang was asked by one of the attendees in an online forum with journalists last week who he thought would be the likely winner in next year's presidential elections. Although Ang himself never got a chance to answer, other participants brought up Pacquiao's name, and the conversation steered towards this scenario.
"Right now, it's still a wide open race. [Presidential spokesperson] Harry Roque said that, in the event Davao Mayor Sara Duterte and Senator Bong Go do not run in 2022, President Duterte will choose among Mayor Isko Moreno, former Senator Bongbong Marcos and Senator Manny Pacquiao," Ang said.
"I believe that the president's endorsement is still the key factor to victory, given his outstanding trust rating. As such, the situation can change dramatically, depending on Mayor Sara Duterte and Senator Bong Go's decision, coupled with the strength of President Duterte's endorsement," he said.
The latest presidential survey conducted by OCTA Research showed that the Davao mayor topped the poll, with 22 percent of the respondents selecting her as the country's next president. The presidential daughter, however, publicly stated that she would not seek the presidency in 2022.
Go indicated that he would only consider running for president if the country's current Chief Executive agrees to be his running mate next year. According to the latest Pulse Asia survey, a Go-Duterte tandem would be the team to beat, earning the highest respondent preference at 32 percent.