Pacman formally joins PDP-Laban

Natashya Gutierrez

MANILA, Philippines – Sarangani representative and boxing champion Manny Pacquiao has just signed up for a new fight — this time with Vice President Jejomar Binay’s party Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban).

Hastily scheduled, Pacquiao officially took his oath to join the party past 10pm Monday, April 17, in a small room at a Makati hotel restaurant. The lawmaker was briefed on the party’s policies and principles just minutes before he took his oath before a small crowd of media men and party members.

Party president Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III led the oath-taking in the presence of Secretary General Joey de Venecia. Pacquiao is now the vice president for Mindanao of PDP-Laban. 

Pacquiao emphasized that despite the move, he still supports the administration of President Benigno Aquino III. He was a member of the Nacionalista Party of 2010 presidential hopeful Sen. Manuel Villar, of which Villar is the chairman.

He also denied recent reports that the former snubbed him during a power summit in Mindanao, saying the President was understandably busy and did not go to the event to see him, but to find solutions to the power crisis down south.

Pimentel told reporters that the party will assist Pacquiao in his political plans. 

“We took in Pacquiao not because he can make us win but because he believes in the tenets of the party,” said Pimentel. “Representative Pacquiao will be a big help for the party’s goal of helping and uplifting Mindanao.” 

Pacquiao plans to run for Sarangani governor in 2013 but said nothing is certain as of now.

The oath comes hours before Pacquiao is scheduled to leave for Baguio City to start his high-altitude training for his June fight against American boxer Timothy Bradley. 

Just a few days earlier, PDP-Laban also announced its coalition with former President Joseph Estrada’s Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) called United Nacionalist Alliance (UNA). – Rappler.com