Manny Pacquiao

Pacquiao open to Duterte as ‘consultant’

Even after a word war with President Duterte, Sen. Manny Pacquiao remains open to tapping President Duterte as an adviser if he wins the 2022 polls.

Pacquiao explained that as a person and leader, he is willing to accept “good advice” from others and that he has “nothing personal” against Mr. Duterte, with whom he had a falling out after a power struggle in the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) party.

“As a consultant? I am a person who accepts good advice. We have a saying in the Christian life: Do not assume that you are good enough to go to Heaven, because that is the greatest hindrance for a person to be saved,” he said on Wednesday.

Pacquiao went on: “Meaning to say, as a leader, don’t say you’re the best, that you cannot be advised by others. Don’t do that.” He made the remarks when asked if he is open to the idea of getting Mr. Duterte as a consultant or adviser if the senator wins the 2022 presidential race.

Pacquiao has been a member of the PDP-Laban, led by Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, before it was racked by a power struggle with a faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi with the backing of the President.

Pacquiao said he last met the President in a “renewal of friendship” after the senator criticized Duterte over West Philippine Sea policy and Mr. Duterte denigrated the intelligence of the retired boxing champ and told him to “study diligently.”

But, in a press conference with reporters on Wednesday, Pacquiao said he still considered the President a friend and that he had “nothing personal” against Mr. Duterte.

“I am only fighting for what is right, if you are bad, then we are not on good terms,” he said.

Meanwhile, Pacquiao appeared to be lukewarm toward the Cusi faction’s condition that Mr. Duterte will only endorse a presidential bet who will commit to his “11-point agenda for continuity” aligned with the Duterte administration’s programs. “For me, I will just do the right thing always. Because if you begin to cover up your mistakes and sins, you are no different from the corrupt and the traditional politicians,” the senator said when asked to comment on Cusi’s requirement.

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