IS Manny Pacquiao running for higher office in the 2016 elections?
The eight-time boxing world champion was present at the Makati Coliseum for the party launch of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) on Wednesday, fueling speculation that Pacquiao will be running for a seat in the country’s Senate as part of the opposition ticket.
The arrival of the current congressman of Sarangani province was announced in the style of a boxer entering the arena and was met by the applause that topped even that of the party standard-bearer, Vice President Jojo Binay.
“May karapatan naman tayong pumili ng nasa puso natin,” Pacquiao answered to questions whether he was concerned that his presence at the event would not be taken positively by the current administration.
When asked by reporters whether he will be running, Pacquiao answered he was still thinking about his decision.
Pacquiao sat beside Binay, who in an early interview said he was open to having the popular boxer as his running mate in his bid for the presidency. The athlete-politician for his part has defended Binay from allegations of corruption in several interviews.
Reports showed the emcee egging both men to sing lines of the song Kahit Maputi na ang Buhok Ko to the amusement of the jampacked crowd inside the venue.
On whether he would campaign for Binay, the boxer said, “Depende ‘yan. ‘Di pa napag-uusapan.” He maintained his presence at the event was in support of the UNA declaration.
The previous day, Pacquiao shared a candid photo of himself eating a simple meal inside a cramped room on social site Instagram that elicited both admiration from fans and scorn from his critics.