That was what Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson said Friday as he confirmed the plans of his colleagues Senators Christopher “Bong” Go and Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao – both from Mindanao – to run for a higher government position in next year’s national elections.
Go served as the assistant-confidant of President Duterte when the chief executive was still the mayor of Davao City while Pacquiao is a true-blue Mindanaoan who rose into international consciousness due to his stellar boxing exploits.
Apart from having almost the same bailiwick, both lawmakers belong to Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino (PDP)-Laban, the ruling political party headed by Duterte.
Pacquiao recently took over the party as president with House Speaker Allan Lord Velasco as executive vice president.
On the possibility of Pacquiao running for president, Lacson recalled that the boxing icon approached him late last year to discuss his plans.
“Because we’re almost seatmates, two or three times, he approached me and sat beside me asking if we can talk because he has such plans. He’s asking for help especially in terms of budget,” Lacson said in an interview over ANC Headstart.
“He was quite open about it, although he doesn’t want to talk about it because of COVID-19 (crisis). And in fairness to him, he is consistent with his appeal to focus first on COVID and not on politics,” Lacson added.
Lacson, however, said he believes all those who have plans to get the top government position would say the same thing.
“But you know, everyone says the same thing. Even Sen. (Christopher “Bong”) Go. When he said we should attend first to the problems of the country because we have a lot of problems,” said Lacson.
Lacson pointed out it was President Duterte himself who exposed Go’s political ambition during a speech at the groundbreaking ceremonies of the new Port Operations Building in Dumaguete in Negros Oriental.
“You know, politics is a funny business. You will only just laugh when you think about what’s happening around you. You would only just laugh,” the lawmaker said.
Go earlier appealed to his supporters to count him out on any talks about politics.
He also downplayed the President’s announcement, saying the latter was only joking, saying he has no plans to run for president in 2022.
Go said would only change his mind if the President decides to run for vice president in next year’s elections. (Hannah L. Torregoza)