2022 PH presidential race

No retreat, no surrender for Manny Pacquiao

Antonio Manaytay
No retreat, no surrender for Manny Pacquiao

REACH OUT. Presidential candidate Senator Manny Pacquiao reaches out and shakes hands with his supporters in Misamis Occidental on Tuesday, April 12.

Manny Pacquiao FB page

'Wala ko gasulod og laban nga moatras ko,' says the Filipino boxing icon and eight-division world champion

ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY, Philippines – Presidential candidate Senator Manny Pacquiao on Wednesday, April 13, remained unfazed by surveys that show him trailing three other major contenders, saying the numbers don’t bother him.

“Wala ko gasulod og laban nga moatras ko (I never go out to fight only to retreat later on),” the Filipino boxing icon and eight-division world champion Pacquiao told a news conference before his campaign rally in Pagadian City.

The latest Pulse Asia survey held in March showed that former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. remained the frontrunner in the presidential race, followed by Vice President Leni Robredo, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, Pacquiao, and Senator Ping Lacson, among others.

Pacquiao noted that in the 2016 presidential race, surveys initially showed the then-presidential contender Rodrigo Duterte behind administration bet Mar Roxas and Senator Grace Poe – only for the Davao mayor to see a surge in his popularity ratings in time for the May polls that year.

“It was already May when the President [who] placed third behind Mar Roxas and Grace Poe… went on to win the elections,” Pacquiao said.

Pacquiao got his facts wrong. A Social Weather Stations survey conducted from April 18 to April 20 in 2016 showed that Duterte was already leading the presidential race at 33%.

Pacquiao said he was banking on the masses – the “D and E” segment of the population – to make him win on May 9, adding that the “A, B, C” voters were the noisiest on social media but that their views do not reflect the public pulse.

He said those behind his presidential bid were silent and busy earning a living.

“They will go out and vote for their presidential candidate on election day,” he said in Cebuano.

Asked about his priority if elected, Pacquiao reiterated his promise of housing, and massive job generation.

“I want sustainable income for the people,” he said.

He said it was important for the people, especially those who have no college degrees, to get government aid so they could start micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

“Strengthen MSMEs to generate jobs,” Pacquiao said.

He did not mince words when it comes to corruption. “Goyuron nako sila sa presohan (I will bring them to jail),” he promised, adding that the corrupt and those who take advantage of the government would have no place under a Pacquiao administration.

Pacquiao said he wanted his government to be known for transparency in its budget and expenditures. “We only talk about the budget, but our people do not know anything about the revenues,” he lamented.

In 2021, he said, the income of the national government was only P2.9 trillion, but its budget was P4.5 trillion.

“I will fix this if I win,” Pacquiao promised. – Rappler.com

Antonio Manaytay is a Mindanao-based journalist and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship

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