Pacquiao open to a Duterte endorsement for president
MANILA, Philippines — Presidential aspirant Senator Manny Pacquiao is open for an endorsement from President Rodrigo Duterte for next year’s national elections.
Pacquiao said he has not talked with Duterte for a possible endorsement for the presidency, but added that he would be “okay” should the Chief Executive eventually decide to support him.
“Hindi naman kami nag-uusap pero ang sa atin, unity naman tayo. Nagsama-sama. Tatanggapin naman natin yung lahat ng tao na naniniwala sa atin,” Pacquiao told reporters.
(We have talked but for me, I am for unity. We will welcome everyone who believes in us.)
“Okay naman, sabi ko nga tinatanggap natin lahat ng suporta ng sambayanang Filipino, dahil ‘yon ang gusto natin, magkaisa tayo at paniwalaan ‘yong nasa puso ko na gusto kong gawin sa ating bansa,” he added when asked if he will be okay with an endorsement from Duterte.
(I am okay with it, as I have said, we are welcoming all the support from Filipinos because that’s what we want—that there is unity and that people believe in what I have in my heart for the country)
Pacquiao said it is now up to Duterte to decide as to who will be endorsed as his successor.
Pacquiao said Duterte was informed beforehand that he will be vying for the presidency in next year’s elections. The senator noted that in 2017, Duterte expressed in public that he wants Pacquiao to be his successor.
“Sinabi ko naman sa kanya noon pa, noong di pa nagpa-filing, wala pag maraming tumakbo, noong umpisa pa lang eh kung marinig niyo nga ‘yong presidente noon, nagsalita siya na parang ineendorso na niya ako two years before,” Pacquiao said.
(I told him before, even before filing, and back when there were only a few candidates. Even from the start, you would hear the President saying he is endorsing my presidential bid.)
“‘Yong sinabi ko naman sa kanya hindi nagbago na sabi ko sa kanya tuloy ako sa pagtakbo. Kaya di natin siya mapipilit kung anong desisyon niya, kung anong desisyon ng Presidente eh sa kanya yun,” he added.
(What I told him that I will vie for the presidential post did not change. We cannot force him with his decision and whatever decision he ends up with, that is his own)
Duterte previously declared support for the presidential bid of Senator Bong Go. However, Go recently announced his withdrawal from the presidential race.
The Palace said Duterte should be given time to decide on who to endorse for next year’s elections.
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