Pacman almost a go in senatorial race

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 30 Sept) – Boxing icon and Sarangani Rep. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao is now almost a go for the 2016 senatorial race.

City Councilor Rogelio “Ruel” Pacquiao, the congressman’s younger brother, bared this development on Wednesday as he confirmed that the latter will no longer seek a third term at the House of Representatives in next year’s local and national elections.

He said their local political party, People’s Champ Movement (PCM), has decided to field him as its official candidate for Sarangani’s lone congressional district seat following a series of consultations.

“The party leadership had a long discussion about this and made consultations with our members. It eventually decided that I’m the party’s best bet for the post and congressman Manny’s replacement,” the councilor said in an interview over TV Patrol Socksargen.

The younger Pacquiao said he expects his brother to make an official announcement soon regarding his Senate bid.

The boxing superstar announced here earlier this month that he is seriously considering making a run for a Senate seat in the 2016 elections.

Vice President Jejomar Binay, who had declared his candidacy for president under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), had offered a slot for Pacquiao in the party’s senatorial lineup.

The PCM, which had forged an alliance with UNA, dominated the 2013 elections here and nearby Sarangani Province.

Next year’s congressional race will be the second for the younger Pacquiao, who represents the Liga ng mga Barangay in the city council.

Rogelio, who is chair of Barangay Apopong, ran and lost to incumbent Rep. Pedro Acharon Jr. of the Achievers with Integrity Movement-Liberal Party in the race for South Cotabato’s first congressional district seat.

He said PCM is considering fielding outgoing City Councilor Dominador Lagare III as Acharon’s challenger.

Another brother of Rep. Pacquiao, Labangal barangay councilor Alberto or “Bobby,” was included by the PCM in its city council slate for next year’s polls.

Alberto’s wife Lorelei is on her second term as chair of Barangay Labangal.

Incumbent Sarangani Vice Gov. Geraldine “Jinkee” Pacquiao, the congressman’s wife, had declared to retire from politics so she could concentrate on taking care of her family.