Senator Manny Pacquiao
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Manny Pacquiao, who serves as acting national president of political party PDP-Laban, called on his party-mates to focus more on solving the country’s problems and not politics.
Pacquiao made the call on Friday in response to reports that some PDP-Laban members are urging President Rodrigo Duterte to run as vice president in 2022.
The senator said the move is not sanctioned by the party’s leadership and he stressed that the focus of the party now is to help the public deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
“As party president, I have the responsibility to enforce the rules, promote cooperation, insist on civility and respect, and most of all, to remind you that we are one team, because it is only when we are united that we can stand strong to weather any storm and to face the greatest dangers,” Pacquiao said in a statement.
On Thursday, House deputy speaker Eric Martinez revealed that some members of PDP-Laban are circulating a resolution urging the president to run for vice president in the 2022 elections for continuity’s sake.
But Pacquiao said now is not the time for politics and that party members should prioritize the needs and lives of Filipinos amid the public health crisis.
“God destined us to be leaders to our respective constituents, and by showing them by example that we know our priorities we are sending a strong message that we value them, that we are aware of their needs and we give them hope,” he said.
“I, therefore, call upon all our party members to focus more on the opportunity to serve. Our countrymen need us now more than ever. There will be a time for politics, but for now, the lives and wellbeing of our countrymen should be our utmost priority,” he added.