Senator Manny Pacquiao accepted the nomination of his party PDP-Laban to seek the presidency in 2022, joining a hotly contested race to succeed his erstwhile ally President Rodrigo Duterte.
"We are ready to rise to the challenge of leadership," Pacquiao said in his acceptance speech on Sunday, September 19.
The faction led by Pacquiao held its national assembly on Sunday, where party members nominated him as the standard-bearer. Members of their PDP-Laban faction also agreed to give Pacquiao the authority to choose his running mate, as well as his Senate slate.
The boxing champ-turned-politician said said he will be running on an anti-corruption platform.
"Panahon na upang manalo naman ang mga naaapi. Panahon na para makabangon ang bayan natin na lugmok sa kahirap. Panahon na nang isang malinis na gobyerno na kung saan ang bawat sentimo ay mapupunta sa bawat Pilipino," said Pacquiao.
(I accept your nomination as the candidate for president of the Republic of the Philippines. It is now the time for the oppressed to win. It is now the time for our nation to rise from poverty. It is now the time for a clean government where every centavo goes to Filipinos.)
"Sa mga nanunungkulan sa ating pamahalaan na patuloy na nagsasamantala at nagnanakaw sa kaban ng bayan, malipat na kayong magsama-sama sa kulungan," he added. "Your time is up."
(To those who continue to serve in government to exploit and steal from the country's coffers, you will find yourselves in jail soon.)
Before this, Pacquiao had been coy about his plans to run for president. He earlier said he has only three options: run for president, run again for senator, or retire from politics.
The senator had admitted to meeting with other potential presidential bets Vice President Leni Robredo and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, but it appears that the talks have failed.
Pacquiao is the second politician to officially confirm his intention to run for the presidency. His colleague at the Senate, Senator Panfilo Lacson, was the first to launch his campaign.
The warring factions of PDP-Laban would still have to wait for the decision of the Commission on Elections as to which camp will be recognized for the 2022 elections.
In a Pulse Asia survey conducted in June, Pacquiao ranked 5th among preferred presidential candidates for the 2022 elections. He was far behind top choices Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno. – Rappler.com