Time is up for corrupt officials: Pacquiao
Published on: Tuesday, September 21, 2021
By: Inquirer, ABS CBN News
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MANILA: “Your time is up.” Sen. Pacquiao (pic) issued that warning on to corrupt government officials in his speech accepting his nomination by his PDP-Laban faction as its standard-bearer in the 2022 presidential race.

“To those serving in our government who continue to take advantage of and steal from the national coffers, the time is near when you will be all together in prison. Your time is up,” Pacquiao said, speaking partly in Filipino.

Pacquiao announced his bid for the presidency amid the infighting within the PDP-Laban that lead to two factions forming — one led by him and Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and another led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

Pacquiao said he opted to remain silent despite the issues being thrown at him by the Cusi camp.

“Right here inside my own party, the PDP-Laban, —which I accepted, nurtured, and defended — some insist on destroying me for the sake of self-interest and politics,” Pacquiao said

“In spite of this, I am here now to show you that, more than the party, what’s important are principles and conviction. More than the self, the country must be the priority,” he added.

In his speech, Pacquiao also mentioned his past life of poverty.

“Do you know the feeling of a Filipino who fought as a boxer, who let himself be beaten up by a bigger and stronger opponent, just so he could buy food?” Pacquiao said.  The Manny Pacquiao who is facing you now has been forged by poverty,” he added.

Meanwhile, The presidential bid of Sen. Manny Pacquiao under the ruling party PDP-Laban is illegal, a rival faction said Monday.

Lawyer Melvin Matibag, secretary-general of the PDP-Laban Cusi faction, said the assembly held in Sept. 8 where Sen. Bong Go and President Rodrigo Duterte were announced as the party’s presidential and vice presidential bets was the “legitimate” one.

“This assembly is illegal. They can be declared to be a candidate but not as a PDP-Laban candidate,” he said.

The PDP-Laban split into 2 factions earlier this year after Pacquiao blocked his party mates’ efforts to push Duterte to run for vice president next year.

In the interview, Matibag said his group was not surprised that Pacquiao was gunning for the country’s highest office. He said it was part of the plan of the Pacquiao-led faction when the boxing champ was made party president.

“Sen. Pacquiao also believed God talked to him and he was the anointed one to become President. So, it’s hard to stop that. That’s his dream,” Matibag said.

Pacquiao was nominated by at least 20 PDP-Laban members with each region in the country fielding a representative to express support for the boxing icon’s presidential bid.

He is the second incumbent senator who will seek the Philippines’ highest elected post in 2022.

Earlier this month, Sen. Panfilo Lacson launched his campaign for the presidency with Senate President Vicente Sotto III running as his vice president. - Inquirer, ABS-CBN News


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