MANNY Pacquiao may have retired from boxing, but he’s entering a new fight — this time for president of the Philippines.
Pacquiao formally filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for president in the 2022 national elections on Friday, October 1.
Accompanied by his wife Jinkee, Pacquiao was the first presidential aspirant to file his COC around 9 a.m. at the Harbor Garden Tent of Sofitel hotel in Pasay City, where the Commission on Elections will accept certificates filing until Oct. 8.
Deputy Speaker and Buhay Partylist Rep. Lito Atienza will be Pacquiao’s running mate.
“I chose Congressman Atienza for he has served the public for more than 50 years. His sincerity, expertise, and real desire to help the country,” Pacquiao said.
The two filed their candidacies under the Probinsya Muna Development Initiative (PROMDI), the national party founded by the late former Cebu governor Lito Osmeña.
PROMDI is also part of the MP3 alliance, along with Pacquiao’s faction at Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) and the People’s Champ Movement (PCM).
According to Pacquiao, he chose to run under PROMDI since PDP-Laban has “problems.”
“We have an alliance PDP-Laban, PROMDI and PCM…since there is still a problem with the party, we opted to use PROMDI,” he said after filing his COC.
Last month, Pacquiao declared his presidential bid in the 2022 national elections.
He vowed to fight against corruption and poverty in the country after accepting the nomination of the PDP-Laban faction that he co-leads with Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III.
“Panahon na upang manalo naman ang mga naaapi. Panahon na para makabangon ang bayan natin na lugmok sa kahirap. Panahon na nang isang malinis na gobyerno na kung saan ang bawat sentimo ay mapupunta sa bawat Pilipino (It is now the time for the oppressed to win. It is now the time for our nation to rise from poverty. It is now the time for a clean government where every centavo goes to every Filipino),” he said on September 19.
On Sept. 29, Pacquiao announced that he was officially hanging up his boxing gloves.
With his retirement, Pacquiao will focus on his political career as he seeks the country’s top post.
The campaign period for national positions will begin on February 8 to May 7 next year, while the campaign period for local positions will be from March 25 to May 7.
The 2022 national elections will be held on May 9, 2022.