Senator Aquilino Pimentel III on Thursday said PDP-Laban acting president and Senator Manny Pacquiao would be a “good choice” for the ruling party’s standard bearer in the upcoming 2022 national and local elections.
“I think he (Pacquiao) will be a good choice of the party to push for president, but of course, running should be voluntary, the person should be willing to run for that particular position,” Pimentel said in an ANC interview.
Meanwhile, Pacquiao and Pimentel said separately they would not attend the ruling party’s national council meeting yesterday, saying it was unauthorized.
Pimentel sits as executive vice-chairman of PDP-Laban of which President Rodrigo Duterte is the national chairman.
“PDP Laban President Sen. Manny Pacquiao will not attend the said activity led by (Energy) Sec. (Alfonso) Cusi & his group,” said PDP-Laban Executive Director Ron Munsayac in a Viber message.
He said the PDP Laban national leadership, grassroots membership, and old guards of the party see the July 17 assembly as unauthorized.
“Any resolution or decision that will be borne out of this unauthorized activity will be ignored,” added Munsayac.
“I have no hand in that meeting, I’m not going to attend that,” Pimentel said.
Should Pacquiao listen to his advice, Pimentel said he would push Pacquiao to declare his presidency by August or September.
“The decision cannot be delayed much longer,” he said, adding that PDP-Laban members who intend to run for president should still observe “formalities” within the party.
Moreover, Pimentel said Pacquiao’s “greatest asset” was his rugs-to-riches experience.
“Given the difficulty which our country is undergoing right now and our people, poverty is still widespread. He has seen the different levels of economic situation in the lives of human beings. He has been through all of those. He experienced sleeping in carts and now he is already staying in an exclusive village,” he said.
“He has been there and it is true that he knows what our countrymen are going through. His heart is in the right place. His heart wants to solve the problem of poverty,” he added.