Pacquiao bro joins South Cotabato congressional race

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/ 4 October)– Boxing sensation and Sarangani Rep. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao’s political party, the People’s Champ Movement (PCM), officially fielded his youngest brother Rogelio on Thursday as candidate for South Cotabato’s first congressional district seat.


Rogelio “Roel” Pacquiao, who was accompanied by his brother Manny and mother Dionisia, formally filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for congressman at around 4:00 p.m. at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) provincial office here.


The younger Pacquiao filed his candidacy amid cheers from local political leaders and supporters that joined his convoy from nearby General Santos City, where he is presently serving his second term as chairman of Barangay Apopong.


South Cotabato’s first congressional district comprises the municipalities of Polomolok, Tupi and Tampakan and General Santos City.


South Cotabato Gov. Arthur Pingoy Jr. and Vice Gov. Elmo Tolosa, who have recently aligned with the PCM, also joined Rogelio at the Comelec provincial office.


Pingoy is seeking reelection as governor while Tolosa is running for the province’s second congressional district seat.


“I’m doing this for the people of the first district of South Cotabato,” Rogelio told reporters after filing his COC.


“Malakas ang loob ko dahil alam ko andyan si Cong Manny (Congressman Manny Pacquiao) na sumusuporta sa akin (I’m very confident because I know Cong Manny is supporting me),” he added.


Rogelio said he decided to seek the province’s first congressional seat to help bring in the needed reforms as well as more progress and development to the area.


He said he’s very much aware of the things the district presently lack, having served as barangay chair in one of the biggest barangays in the area in the last several years.


Rogelio said he also wants to pursue the “good plans” that his brother Manny had made for the district, where the latter ran but lost as a neophyte congressional candidate in the 2007 elections.


Manny lost to then incumbent Rep. Darlene Antonino-Custodio, who is currently mayor of General Santos City.


The boxer, who convincingly won as representative of Sarangani’s lone district in the 2010 elections, filed his COC for reelection last Tuesday.


His wife Jinkee also filed her COC for vice governor of Sarangani. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)