- President said he wants senator to succeed him in 2022
- He announced he is willing to support Pacquiao’s campaign if he chooses to run
- He also praised him as the country’s pride and joy, said he is worthy of emulation
MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Manny Pacquiao could end up being the country’s next Chief Executive after President Rodrigo Duterte said he wants the latter to succeed him in 2022
“Sabi ko sa kanya one time, kami lang dalawa nag-usap, gusto kita gawing president. Alam mo kaya mo [I told him while we were alone, I want you to become president You know you can handle it],” the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted him as saying during Pacquiao’s 39th birthday dinner in General Santos City on Sunday.
“Parang tape recorder, next election, patutugtugin mo lang, ganun na ‘yan,” he added. [If we had a tape recorder, next election, just play it, and it will show our conversation.]
Duterte also said he would be willing to support and campaign for Pacquiao should he decide to run for president.
“Yung style mo na ‘yan gusto kitang gawing presidente,” “Yayariin ko silang lahat.”
[Because of your style I want to make you president. I’ll take care of all of them.]
Other than his endorsement of Pacquiao, Duterte also praised the boxer for bringing glory to the country and remaining humble despite his prosperity.
“You have brought so much pride and joy to our country for being the world champion in the field of boxing,” he said. “The determination you have shown and the humility embodied in the glorious triumph are worthy of emulation.”
For her part, the senator’s mother Dionisia said she would continue supporting whatever plans her son has.
“Susuportahan ko siya, bahala na ang Diyos kung saan siya dadalhin sa mundo ng pulitika,” she said.
[I will support him, it’s up to God where to bring him in the world of politics.]
Pacquiao, a close ally of Duterte, had previously hinted running for the vice presidency in 2016 but was barred from doing so because of the age requirement.