By: Christia Marie Ramos – Reporter / INQUIRER.net /August 30, 2021
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Manny Pacquiao is ready to run as an independent candidate in 2022 elections should both the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Supreme Court recognize the PDP-Laban Cusi wing as the legitimate party representative, an ally said Monday.
“Yes, ready po siya kasi po ganyan po katibay ang prinsipyo ni Sen. Manny Pacquiao,” PDP-Laban executive director Ron Munsayac, identified with the Pacquiao faction, told reporters in an online interview.
(Yes, he is ready, that’s how strong Sen. Manny Pacquiao’s principle is.)
Pacquiao’s group has been at odds with the faction of Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, which recently endorsed the tandem of Senator Bong Go and President Rodrigo Duterte for the 2022 polls.
Pacquiao is said to be eyeing the presidency next year. The senator, however, earlier announced he will make a decision in September.
‘No back-up parties’
While many parties are ready to throw their support for Pacquiao in the 2022 elections, Munsayac stressed that the boxer-politician remains loyal to PDP-Laban and will not join any other political group.
“No back-up parties but there are several parties ready to support Manny Pacquiao whatever his decision is…Sinasabi niya po sa amin kay Sen. [Koko] Pimentel at sa ibang leaders ng partido namin na, ‘Ron, Koko, I will not leave PDP-Laban. Ipaglaban natin ito kasi sa mga miyembro ito e, ipaglaban natin ito,’” Munsayac said.
(No back-up parties but there are several parties ready to support Manny Pacquiao whatever his decision is…He told me and Sen. Pimentel and other leaders of the party that ‘Ron, Koko, I will not leave PDP-Laban. We should fight for this because this party belongs to its members, let’s fight for this.)
“Hindi niya po iiwan ang PDP-Laban kasi napamahal na po siya sa prinsipyo, ideolohiya at sa nakita niya po yung suporta ng mga miyembro namin sakanya so he will not leave the PDP-Laban no matter what the consequences are,” he added.
(He will not leave PDP-Laban because he has grown to love its principles, its ideology and he saw how the party’s members have supported him so he will not leave PDP-Laban no matter what the consequences are.)
“Yung consequences lang naman po talaga is kung hindi po pumanig yung Comelec at yung Supreme Court sa amin ay magiging independent po siya,” he further said.
(The only consequence is that if the Comelec or the Supreme Court will not side with us then he will be an independent candidate.)
Ready for SC
Earlier, Comelec chair Sheriff Abas said deciding which of the two factions is the legitimate representative of PDP-Laban will be “bloody.”
“The Comelec will decide based on the documents and based on the law and the constitution and by-laws of the party,” Abas had said.
Munsayac said their faction remains confident that the Comelec will make a decision in their favor but added that the Pacquiao wing is prepared should the conflict within the ruling party reach the Supreme Court.
“We’re already prepared and we’re already expecting na aabot talaga sa Supreme Court…We’ve repeatedly said na malaki at mataas ang paningin namin at paniniwala sa Comelec, sa Supreme Court na titignan nila yung merits ng kaso. Kung sino po talaga ang mga orihinal, kung sino yung mga totoo at kung sino yung mga recognized na members ng PDP-Laban, hindi lang po yung nakaupo yung may pera,” Munsayac said.
(We’re already prepared and we’re already expecting that this will reach the Supreme Court…We’ve repeatedly said that we have high regards for the Comelec, the Supreme Court and believe that they will look at the merits of the case, who are the original, who are the true and recognized members of the party, not only those in power or have money.)