2022 Philippine Elections

Lito Atienza is Pacquiao’s vice presidential pick

Aika Rey
Lito Atienza is Pacquiao’s vice presidential pick

Sen. Manny Pacquiao and running mate Buhay partylist Rep. Lito Atienza file their respective COCs for the 2022 national elections at the Harbour Garden Tent of Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City on October 1, 2021.

Angie de Silva/Rappler

(3rd UPDATE) In a surprise move, the former Manila mayor files his candidacy as the running mate of presidential bet Manny Pacquiao

House Deputy Speaker and former Manila mayor Lito Atienza is Senator Manny Pacquiao’s running mate.

Atienza arrived at the filing venue with Pacquiao on Friday, October 1 and promptly filed for his certificate of candidacy as vice president. (READ: First presidential bet to file candidacy: Manny Pacquiao)

The Pacquiao camp has been silent on who the senator’s running mate for the 2022 election will be, as he was reportedly still in talks with 1Sambayan until the very last minute.

Asked why he chose Atienza as his running mate, Pacquiao said: “Pinili ko si Congressman Atienza, unang-una yung pagseserbisyo at paglilingkod nya sa bayan,” citing his experience in the last 50 years. (I chose Congressman Atienza for his track record in public service.)

Lito Atienza is Pacquiao’s vice presidential pick

Both are staunch religious advocates. Atienza is representative of Buhay party list, a pro-life party. Like Pacquiao, Atienza opposed the divorce and anti-discrimination bills.

But Pacquiao and Atienza have opposing views on the death penalty. Atienza, as a representative of a pro-life party, is against capital punishment. 

When President Rodrigo Duterte pushed for the reimposition of the death penalty, Atienza said he would he favored a “harsher” form of lifelong incarceration and called death penalty a “curse.” Pacquiao, still a Duterte ally at the time, defended the death penalty and justified its reimposition with quotes from the Bible.

A seasoned politician, Atienza served as Manila mayor for three terms – from 1998 to 2007. He was also environment and natural resources secretary under the administration of former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.