SPORTSMEN are once again in the thick of the fight in Monday's national elections.
Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao and multi-titled coach Yeng Guiao lead the cast of men and women who hope to have the same kind of success in the political arena as they had in sports' battle field.
Pacquiao is unopposed in his bid for a second term as representative of the lone district of Sarangani, but he view the polls more than anything else as his chance to consolidate his forces in his home province.
That may be the reason why his wife Jinkee is aiming for the vice-gubernatorial post of the province while brother Roel is seeking a congressional seat in General Santos City.
On the other hand, Guiao is gunning for a congressional seat in the first district of Pampanga after serving for three terms as the province's vice governor.
Many sportsmen have held higher positions over the years, among them former national cager Ambrosio Padilla, who became a senator in 1957, as well as fellow legends Robert Jaworski, Sr. and Freddie Webb.
But for the third straight national elections since Jaworski lost in his re-election bid in 2004, no sportsman-turned-statesman is running for a seat in the Senate.
Webb, though, feels it's only a matter of time before another sportsman follows in their footsteps from among the ranks of Pacquiao and Co.
"Time will come, magkakaroon ulit ng ganoon. Pero it will depend on the performance (of those running for lower office),” said Webb.
“Pero ako mas gusto ko na nagsisimula yung isang pulitiko sa local level and then go up the ladder. Hindi maganda yung biglang tatakbong senador,” he added.
Meanwhile, here is a list of sports personalities seeking various posts in the May 13 elections. (We reiterate that this is just an incomplete list, so we enjoin you to give us the names of those who we may have missed.)
Monsour del Rosario – former Olympian, taekwondo (Makati, 1st district councilor)
Kit Cojuangco – former national archer (Tarlac, vice gubernatorial post-unopposed)
Joey Marquez – former PBA player (Paranaque, 2nd district congressman)
Jason Webb – former PBA player (Paranaque, 1st district councilor)
Yoyong Martirez – former PBA player (Pasig, 2nd district councilor)
Rodney Santos – former PBA player (Meycauyan, Bulacan, councilor)
Ato Agustin - former PBA player (San Fernando, Pampanga, vice wayor)
Yeng Guiao – coach, Rain or Shine Elastopainters (Pampanga 1st district congressman)
Franz Pumaren – coach, Air 21 Express (Quezon City 3rd district councilor)
Jack Santiago – assistant coach, Air 21 Express (Navotas, 1st district councilor)
Richard Gomez - former national shooter (Ormoc, Leyte, mayor)
Yayoy Alcoseba – coach, Southwestern Visayas University (Cebu, board member)
Binky Favis – former PBA coach (Paranaque 2nd district councilor)
Dennis Pineda – PBA D-League team owner (Pampanga, vice-gubernatorial post)
Arnel Ty – cycling patron (LPGMA partylist)