MANILA, Philippines – Aspiring president Senator Manny Pacquiao got a “surprise endorsement” from San Pablo City Mayor Loreto “Amben” Amante.
In a statement Saturday, February 19, his camp said that Amante introduced Pacquiao as the “next president of the Philippines.”
“Amante led a group of barangay chief executives from the 3rd and 4th districts to show their solidarity in his war against corruption in an impromptu consultative meeting at the Paseo de San Pablo,” the statement said.
San Pablo City in Laguna has about 150,000 voters.
Amante is the son of former mayor Vicente Amante. The Amante political clan has ruled San Pablo since the ’90s, except from 2001 to 2004.
Amante has already served three consecutive terms as the city’s chief executive, with his father now running for the mayoralty.
The San Pablo mayor was part of the Binay-led United Nationalist Alliance in 2016, when Pacquiao ran for senator under the same party.
The Amantes are currently members of Manny Villar-led Nacionalista Party – the party of former public works chief Mark Villar, who is part of the Marcos-Duterte Uniteam Senate slate.
Pacquiao went around vote-rich Laguna on Saturday, visting Sta. Cruz, San Pablo, Calamba, and Canlubang.
The presidential candidate also met with PDP-Laban party mate Laguna Governor Ramil Hernandez, who has yet to announce whose candidacy he will support. Manila Mayor Isko Moreno also failed to get Hernandez’s backing.
Laguna is among the provinces with the biggest number of voters. More than 2 million Lagunenses will vote on Election Day. – Rappler.com