GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 11 May) – Boxing icon and outgoing Sarangani Rep. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao called on politicians and their camps to unite, and rally behind the coming administration of leading presidential candidate, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
Pacquiao said it is now time for candidates who have either won or lost in Monday’s general elections to work for reconciliation and the country’s unity.
“Magkaisa na tayong lahat. Kung ang intensyon mo ay maganda at para sa pagbabago then dapat magkaisa tayo (Let’s all unite now. If your intention is good and for change then we should be united),” he said in an interview over TV Patrol Socsksargen.
The eight-division world boxing champion is already poised to land a spot in the Senate based on the partial and unofficial count.
Pacquiao, who ran under Vice President Jejomar Binay’s United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), is currently in seventh place with 15,490,342 votes in the race for the 12 Senate seats.
Despite Binay’s expected loss and with Duterte widely leading in the presidential race, Pacquiao said he is happy with the results.
“Masaya naman ako na siya ang pinili ng sambayanang Pilipino (I’m happy that he was the one chosen by the Filipino people),” he said.
From the start, he cited that he personally considered the Binay and Duterte as the ones only capable of running and leading the country.
Pacquiao, who has taken a break after his final fight last April against Timothy Bradley and the grueling senatorial campaign, said he will soon personally visit and congratulate Duterte.
“We are friends and that will not be affected by politics,” he said.
Pacquiao and his local political party, People’s Champ Movement (PCM), initially declared support for Duterte before the filing of the certificates of candidacy (COC) in October last year.
But he decided to forge an alliance with UNA and joined its senatorial slate after Duterte did not file his COC for president.
Duterte filed for re-election as Davao City mayor but withdrew it in December to run as substitute candidate for president of the PDP-Laban.