Manny Pacquiao’s possible next move following PDP-Laban brouhaha

The Opposition continues its fixation with the internal wranglings of ruling party PDP-Laban. In case you were asleep the past six months, Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao has been going around the country testing the waters for a Presidential run. Polls have him within the top 10 but not close to the front-runners Inday Sara “Daughterte” Duterte and Bongbong Marcos. Pacquiao was egged on by Senator Koko Pimentel to run after he was made Acting President of PDP-Laban. His early campaign was nipped in the bud after Retired Supreme Court Justice Carpio of 1Sambayan questioned his attendance record in the House before and the Senate at present.

The cracks in the party started showing last year when the name of Bong Go was floated by no less than President Rodrigo Duterte himself. Go reacted by saying he would only run if Duterte ran with him as Vice President. Even this didn’t fly with the “Die-hard Duterte Supporters” (DDS). However, the idea of a Daughterte-Duterte tandem has caught on. The Opposition pounced like a choir chanting “the Philippines is not Davao”; an allusion to the father and daughter switching posts in order to maintain their control of the largest city in the country. The Opposition wants nothing more than another candidate to emerge from the ruling coalition which they believe will split the vote in their favor. This is assuming, however, that they can agree on a candidate. The truth is the Liberal Party is silent because it does not have funding. Mar Roxas and Judy Roxas aren’t opening their chequebook for Leni Robredo. Roxas’ loss in 2019 was the end of his political career. Three consecutive losses as VP in 2010, President in 2016 and Senator in 2019 is similar to the three knockdown rule in boxing.

1Sambayan is probably being bankrolled by Manny Pangilinan. The goal is not to unite the Opposition so a new opposition can emerge from its ashes. Pangilinan is supposedly considering either Manila Mayor Isko Moreno or Senator Grace Poe for President or both to run as a tandem. A disgruntled Pacquiao would be a welcome addition to their fold. The Yellows with their wokeness won’t touch the bible-thumping boxer but Pangilinan can surely use him as a pawn in the Senate but Pac-Man would be committing political suicide if he breaks from Duterte. His political future is still bright as he’s only 43. He can aspire for the highest post in the future since he is the one and only Pambansang Kamao.

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Of the more recent situation Pacquiao faces, Boo Chanco writes in his PhilSTAR piece “Duterte KOs Pacquiao?”…

What are his chances of winning? Manny didn’t do too well in recent polls. I expected more from him, given his name recognition. Maybe that will improve when people know he is really running.

Duterte must have seen those numbers too, and was emboldened to knock Manny out very early in the game before he got traction. The Dutertes are determined to hang on to Malacañang.

But Pinoys love underdogs. Manny can paint the Dutertes as big bullies and pick up sympathy votes. However, Manny must have a really good social media team to, at the very least, neutralize the DDS.

It’s interesting though how Chanco is buying into the logic of Inquirer columnist and former Malacanang Communications Undersecretary Manuel L Quezon III that the majority still doesn’t support Duterte. The Opposition has been trying to sell this to the public immediately after their loss in 2016. The test was in the 2019 midterm where they lost miserably. What is there to prove? A landslide in 2022? The Yellowidiots still relive the glorious days when they ousted President Joseph “Erap” Estrada in 2001 despite his winning the Presidency by a landslide. The bad news is those days won’t be repeated any time soon. Pac-Man should toe the party line and follow the party leader. He has reached the apex of his boxing career but still has much to learn about politics. Bear in mind that he lost his first bid for Congress when he went up against the Antoninos of General Santos City. This is why he had to change his residence from South Cotabato to Sarangani. It was there that the finally managed to win. Instead of Koko Pimentel, Pac-Man should listen more to Chavit Singson who can teach him more about the vagaries of Philippine politics.

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