Manny Pacquiao is PDP-Laban’s campaign manager for 2019 senatorial elections

Camille Elemia
Manny Pacquiao is PDP-Laban’s campaign manager for 2019 senatorial elections
Can the boxing champ and neophyte senator handle a national campaign? PDP-Laban president and Senator Aquilino Pimentel III says, 'Of course, kayang-kaya niya iyan.'

MANILA, Philippines – Neophyte Senator Manny Pacquiao will run the senatorial campaign of ruling party Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), in the 2019 elections.

PDP-Laban president Aquilino Pimentel III told Rappler about this on Monday, October 22.

Si Manny Pacquiao na ang (Manny Pacquiao is the) new national campaign manager,” Pimentel said in a message. Pacquiao replaced Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, who is also PDP-Laban’s vice chairman.

Pimentel said he is confident that the athlete-turned-senator would do a good job. A campaign manager is usually tasked to strategize for the slate, talk to local and national politicians, forge alliances with them, and make candidates win, among others.

“We asked him to be the national campaign manager because we believe in him. Of course, kayang-kaya niya iyan (he can do it),” Pimentel said.

Pacquiao, however, has limited experience in conducting national campaigns. His first national campaign was in 2016 when he ran for the Senate. Owing to his popularity, he did not have to make as many rounds as other contenders.

Before this, he conducted local campaigns in Sarangani when he ran for representative of the province’s lone district in 2010 and 2013. He won both elections.

On top of his new role, the boxing idol said there is a 90% chance he would face American Adrien Broner in Las Vegas on either January 12 or 19, a month before the start of the campaign period on February 12. There are also talks of a Pacquiao-Mayweather rematch next year but it has not been finalized.

Rappler tried to reach Pacquiao for comment but he has yet to respond as of posting.

PDP-Laban has 5 confirmed candidates in its slate so far, all of whom are party members:

  1. Pimentel
  2. Zajid Mangudadatu, Maguindanao 2nd district representative
  3. Francis Tolentino, former presidential political adviser
  4. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, former Bureau of Corrections chief
  5. Bong Go, President Rodrigo Duterte’s close aide and former special assistant to the President

Pimentel said the party has yet to decide on the Senate bets they will adopt to fill the remaining 7 slots. (READ: PDP-Laban struggles for unity, survival ahead of 2019 polls– Rappler.com

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Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation issues, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email camille.elemia@rappler.com