MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Manny Pacquiao is banking on “true Christians” and Filipinos in social classes D and E to deliver for him the votes he needs to win the presidency.
“I am very sure that we all have the same faith, and the same spirit is distributed among us. So I am sure that we will be helping each other, and that we are one with our brethren,” Pacquiao, a devout Christian of the Evangelical Protestant church, said in his campaign sortie in Nasugbu, Batangas over the weekend.
Buoyed by an outpouring of support from various denominations of the Christian faith throughout the country, he said: “If you really are a true Christian, you will support a (fellow) Christian, you will support your brother.”
The Promdi Party standard-bearer stressed that he shows the same solid support for a fellow Christian who seeks public office to contribute to improving the condition of poor Filipinos.
If elected, the boxing icon-turned-politician will be the second non-Catholic president to rule the country after former president Fidel Ramos, a Protestant.
Pacquiao feels so strongly about his faith that he declared two weeks ago that if he receives a sign through Divine Intervention against his candidacy, he would withdraw from the presidential derby.
Support for Zubiri
Meanwhile, Pacquiao said he will continue to support reelectionist Sen. Migz Zubiri to ensure that Mindanao and Visayas will be represented in the Senate.
Pacquiao gave this assurance while campaigning in Caloocan City, where he was asked if he still supported Zubiri after the latter endorsed the candidacy of former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
“Of course (I still support Zubiri), I want a fellow Mindanaoan to win in the elections,” Pacquiao said. “I have no self-interest here. All I want is for the interest and welfare of the general public. There will never be peace in Mindanao for as long as there is no development there.”
As such, Promdi has retained Zubiri as a guest senatorial candidate. But Pacquiao warned that politicians supporting Marcos will only have themselves to blame if the dictator’s son and namesake assumes power and ends up reverting Mindanao to its troublesome past.
On endorsing the vice presidential bid of Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Pacquiao said he would do so only with the approval of running mate Lito Atienza. – Neil Jayson Servallos