Is Pacquiao aiming for opposition or PDP-Laban nomination?
By Atty. Farah G. Decano
THE Chief Executive’s unsatisfactory management of the West Philippine Sea dispute – this was the maiden shot fired against President Rodrigo Duterte by his supposed loyal ally, Senator Manny Pacquiao. Interestingly, this is also the “banner” issue of the largest opposition group, 1Sambayan which is still scramming to field a presidential candidate that could equal the charisma of the administration’s possible nominee, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
Despite the president’s obvious irritation, Sen Pacquiao did not hesitate to launch his second attack. This time, the latter accused the present administration with rampant corruption thus prompting the president to reply with his usual – a threat of expose against the senator.
Should Sen. Pacquiao start cowering in fear? So far, the president has established his reputation that if he wanted to destroy his enemy, he meant it. Remember, the case of Senator Leila de Lima? He made an example of her and went on saying that he also had the goods on other senators. Many of the outspoken legislators suddenly were silenced. If Sen. Pacquiao suddenly halts his tirades, then the public will smell his fear for a possible unmasking.
As of this writing, Sen. Pacquiao has not withdrawn his challenges. He named the Department of Health as one of the corrupt agencies. Health Secretary Pingcoy Duque was appalled by Pacquiao’s belated charge because allegedly the latter did not even bother to ask the department head during the recently held Senate hearing regarding country’s anti- covid expenses.
The sudden concern of Sen. Pacquiao over popular opposition issues such as the West Philippine Sea dispute and the unabated corruption in government raises doubt about his sincerity. These matters have been discussed widely by the nation for several years since President Duterte’s assumption. Why tackle them only now, Sen. Pacquiao?
It is all about timing. We cannot ignore that 2022 is just around the corner and this is the best time a politico has to position himself for a certain elective position. Is Sen. Pacquaio courting the seeming headless opposition as its standard bearer? It is a usual strategy for those who aim for a higher elective position to train one’s gun against a higher political personality. This way, the ambitious earns publicity mileage and gains the perception that he is an equal of the attacked. I wonder if the desperate opposition would welcome him. To embrace Sen. Pacquiao in its fold at this time will cast serious doubt on the opposition’s credibility for succumbing to politics of convenience. Afterall, 1Sambayan already rejected the boxer turned politico earlier this year.
Is Sen. Pacquaio courting PDP-Laban’s nomination as vice presidential candidate by proving that he is better an ally than a foe? If Sen. Pacquaio will discontinue his scathing criticisms of the present administration, then alam na – either he chickened out, or he compromised. I could almost hear Sen. Pacquiao making a press statement justifying his 180 degrees about turn – that he was presented reports by the various agencies of the executive department, that statistics appeared credible, and that he was very satisfied by the performance of each agency. I am sure that Sen. Pacquaio is very capable of this reversal of position. My basis? Remember his promise to the Filipino nation that he’ll never go back to the boxing ring again when elected as senator? He completely turned around.
Updated a few hours before the submission of this article: Senator Pacquiao denies attacking the president. Ok, he blinked. Your guess is as good as mine.
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