THE ALLEGED rift between Manny Pacquiao and former indefatigable ring ally Chavit Singson may have gotten a little wider with a few unflattering words the veteran politician dropped today.
“Hindi pa siguro panahon ni Sen. Manny Pacquiao,” the Narvacan, Ilocos Sur mayor said in an interview with Inquirer.net. He was referring to the boxer-politician’s upcoming presidential run, under a separate faction of the ruling PDP-Laban party.
“Unang-una hindi siya qualified. Ang presidente kasi you have to be well educated if not well experienced," Singson went on.
If Pacquiao is elected, Singson believed that the eight-division boxing world champion would bring shame to the Philippines as its chief executive.
“Hindi puwedeng i-elect mo yung presidente na mapapahiya tayo dahil yan ang mukha nating Pilipino,” he declared.
A partnership turned sour for Chavit Singson and Manny Pacquiao?
During the prime of Pacquiao’s career, Singson, who lorded over his bailiwick of Ilocos Sur, was both friend and father figure to the boxer. He was a familiar sight to many fans as Singson accompanied the boxer to all of his major fights.
It is said that Pacquiao’s backing of the revisions to the excise tax law on tobacco — a major source of livelihood for farmers in his home province — became the source of the former allies' conflict.
Singson was noticeably absent in the Pacquiao camp during the champ’s last fight against Yordenis Ugas. The senator retired from the ring soon after to focus on his political ambitions.
So who is Chavit backing in the national elections?
Definitely Sara Duterte-Carpio for vice-president, he told Inquirer. For president, he believes that both Bongbong Marcos and Senator Ping Lacson are qualified for the position.
Not so Pacquiao.
"Kung ako sa kanya, balik na lang senator, doon siya makakuha ng maraming experience and later on isipin mabuti kung dapat ba tataas pa," advised Singson.