Even if they both belong to PDP-Laban, it is possible that President Rodrigo Duterte will campaign against Sen. Manny Pacquiao in the upcoming 2022 election.
Duterte said this in his weekly Talk to the People Address on Monday night, following Pacman’s allegations that the current government is more corrupt than the administration of former President Noynoy Aquino.
“[Si] Pacquiao, salita nang salita na three times daw tayo mas corrupt [kumpara sa Aquino admin]. So I am challenging him, ituro mo ang opisina na corrupt at ako na ang bahala. Within one week may gawain ako,” said Duterte.
“[If] you fail to do that, I will campaign against you because you are not doing your duty. Do it because if not, I will tell the people: ‘Do not vote for Pacquiao because he is a liar.'”
Duterte said he is doing everything to prosecute the corrupt in his government. He said he fired many officials who are involved in corruption, including:
- those involved in the “Pastillas” scandal
- 43 staff of the Bureau of Immigration
- 73 staff of the Bureau of Customs
- some in the Bureau of Internal Revenue
Duterte to possibly campaign against Pacquiao in 2022
It will be recalled that Pacquiao hosted the National Council Assembly of PDP-Laban led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi on May 31, with Duterte’s blessing. Pacquiao said he did not call it that.
Pacquiao is the “acting president” of PDP-Laban, while Duterte is the chairperson of the party.
At the said assembly, the party agreed to encourage Duterte to run for vice in 2022 while choosing his president.
Just this month, Pacquiao criticized Duterte for underestimating his understanding of foreign policy. According to Pacman, everyone knows that his vision reflects the “true pulse” of the Filipinos when it comes to protecting sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea, which has long been criticized by the president.
“I respect the president’s opinion but humbly disagree with his assessment of my understanding of foreign policy,” said the senator.
“I firmly believe that my statement reflects the sentiment of majority of the Filipinos, that we should stand strong in protecting our sovereign rights while pursuing a peaceful and diplomatic solution to the dispute.”