Estranged Duterte friends discuss alliance for 2022
A “possible alliance” between two former allies of President Duterte is in the offing after Sen. Manny Pacquiao on Wednesday met with former House Speaker and Partido Reporma president Pantaleon Alvarez.
Alvarez shared on his Facebook page a photo of his meeting with Pacquiao together with Ronwald Munsayac, national executive director of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) and Davao del Norte Gov. Edwin Jubahib, secretary general of Partido Reporma.
“Discussing 2022 and possible alliances with old friends from PDP-Laban. We are all praying to have leaders that Filipinos need to help solve our problems amid the pandemic,” Alvarez said in his caption of the photo.
He did not provide further details.
The meeting between Pacquiao and Alvarez came two weeks before the filing of certificates of candidacy for the 2022 national elections.
Earlier, the revived Partido Reporma endorsed the tandem of Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who is now the party chair, and Senate President Vicente Sotto III as their presidential and vice presidential candidates next year.
In November last year, Alvarez left PDP-Laban to head the Partido Reporma. He has since criticized Duterte’s pandemic response, calling it a “failure.”
Pacquiao had a fallling out with Duterte after the President prodded Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi to lead a faction within the PDP-Laban to splinter from the group lead by Pacquaio and Sen. Aquilino Pimentel in favor of the supposed presidential candidacy of Duterte’s daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
Pacquiao has since been very vocal of the shortcomings of the Duterte administration.
On Thursday, Pacquiao reiterated that he considers corruption as the country’s main problem that has stunted economic growth and perpetuated mass poverty.
“I pointed this out already before that corruption seems to be two to three times as bad today compared [with] before. And it seems to have gotten worse at this time when there is a pandemic,” the senator said in Filipino.
Pacquiao is a member of the Senate blue ribbon committee investigating the alleged overpriced procurement of various supplies for the country’s COVID-19 response, as initiated by the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget Management.
“It is saddening to see cases of corruption are coming out while we are now busy fighting the coronavirus,” Pacquiao added.
”It is important that people involved in graft and corruption go to jail because of pocketing the money from our country’s coffers. Billions worth are being stolen, instead of going to education and health programs. We cannot defeat poverty if we cannot defeat corruption,” he said.
Pacquiao has said that he would reveal before the end of this month whether to run for higher office or to retire from both boxing and politics altogether.
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