Fighting Congressman Manny Pacquiao has not officially announced his intention to seek a senate seat in the 2016 national elections but presidential aspirant and incumbent Vice-President Jejomar Binay has already included him in his senatorial slate.
Pacquiao, who is an incumbent congressman representing the province of Sarangani, has previously admitted his desire to run for president of the Philippines.
In his revelations to Agence France-Presse (AFP) via InteAction, in an exclusive interview after the kick off ceremony in Macau, China, to promote his upcoming fight against Brandon Rios on Nov. 24, Pacquiao said he has indeed entertained the idea of joining the 2022 presidential election.
Pacquiao’s admission is not actually new. In 2011, his promoter Bob Arum revealed Pacquiao’s political plan.
“It’s 2022, that’s the year Manny would become eligible to run for the presidency,” Arum said before Pacman’s open media workout according to Examiner.com back in 2011.
“That would be, to me, the biggest achievement of my career, to see this kid how far he has come and how far he can go.
“But I hope I will be alive to see it. I will be age 91. I won’t be dancing, I will be in the hospice by then,” Arum said with a hearty laugh. Read more:
If indeed he is serious on his future presidential bid, he needs to win a senate seat first in order to have a national constituency. This was also the advice of Speaker Feliciano Belmonte when asked about Pacquiao’s presidential bid.
“He should be a senator first, get some training [in the Senate],” Belmonte told reporters when sought for comment on Pacquiao’s political plans.
A senate seat is almost always a prerequisite for candidates seeking the vice presidency or the presidency as it one of the three executive posts that are voted by a national constituency.
A senate candidacy would be a crucial test for Pacquiao’s chances of winning in a national election and if he is successful in his senatorial bid, it would be the best barometer for his 2022 presidential bid.
Pacquiao. who is a high school dropout but passed the equivalency test, is eligible to run for president of the Philippines in accordance with the constitution.