Pacquiao to run as independent if Comelec decides PDP-Laban Cusi faction is legitimate party
By Ella Dionisio
If the Commission of Election (Comelec) will decide that the PDP-Laban faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi is the legitimate party, Senator Manny Pacquiao is ready to run as an independent candidate in the 2022 election, an official from his PDP-Laban faction said on Monday.
"If the Comelec will not side with us, he (Pacquiao) is ready to run (as an) independent," PDP-Laban Executive Director Ron Munsayac said in a virtual press briefing.
"He (Pacquiao) will decide. He will consult his family first and pray to know what is the right next decision he should take... He is very open on his options, either run for President, he will be re-elected as senator or not run at all," he said.
As of now, Munsayac said Pacquiao has no back up parties but a lot of political parties are ready to support him.
"We are thankful to them for their support but we clarify that Senator Pacquiao will not join other parties," he said.
Munsayac added that Pacquaio promised their faction that he will not leave the PDP-Laban and they also promised him of support whatever decision he will choose.
He said their faction is set to hold their national assembly soon where they will vote for their new set of officers and announce their candidate for election next year.
While they are sure that Pacquiao will be their presidential candidate, Munsayac said they will give him power to choose his own vice president and senatorial slate.
"To be clear, the PDP-Laban, we will support Senator Pacquiao whatever his decision is... He said that he will announce and decide on the right time... As to the vice president, we still don't have (a candidate) but meetings are already set after his quarantine," he said.
"It is still open and we need someone who is fit on the principle of the candidate and the Party," he added.
Munsayac said the party has senatorial bets, which he did not name. He claimed they are "winnable".
Without identifying them, he hinted that some of the names are already appearing in election surveys.
Asked on the decision of Senator Bong Go to decline the endorsement of PDP-Laban as a presidential candidate, Munsayac said they respect it as he is still a party member. He hopes that the Cusi faction will also respect the decision of the senator.
"We sort of expected this already. We believe that Senator Bong Go is not their real candidate. We believe they have another candidate who is also from Davao," he said.
"(Go) is right, our health department has a lot of problems that needs to be fixed," he added. DMS