Duterte 'wants to make' Pacquiao president

Jay Dayupay, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 18 2017 01:15 AM

GENERAL SANTOS CITY -- Senator Manny Pacquiao had an extravagant party for his 39th birthday in his hometown in General Santos City.

The party started with praise and worship, and prizes were also raffled off to the almost 2,000 guests inside KCC Convention and Events Center.

Pacquiao's speech focused on inspiring the crowd, saying it was quite unbelievable that an ordinary boy from General Santos City have become one of the world's most famous boxers.

"Who would have thought that a poor boy from GenSan will become a world boxing champion and now a senator," Pacquiao said.

Pacquiao added that despite so many struggles in life, he pushed harder to achieve what he has now in life.

"I want to be an inspiration to everyone, huwag sumuko! Huwag mawalan ng pagasa because God has plans for you," he said.

Pacquiao then introduced his very important visitor, citing he is one with President Rodrigo Duterte's anti-drugs and anti-corruption campaign.

"The happiest birthday ko itong 39th birthday ko dahil nandito ang ating mahal na Presidente. Pareho kami ng advocacy, pagsugpo sa krimen at korapsiyon," Pacquiao said.

Duterte took the stage and obliged to have his photo taken with the senator and his family. 

In his speech, Duterte praised Pacquiao for being an icon of inspiration.

"You have brought so much pride and joy for being a world boxer. Worthy of emulation by our countrymen. As a senator, you are a true leader," Duterte said.

Duterte even said he wants to make Pacquiao president of the country.

"Yong style mo na 'yan gusto kitang gawing presidente," Duterte said.

And as a gift to Pacquiao, Duterte said:"Yayariin ko silang lahat."

Some of the other guests reacted to Duterte's statement. 

Sarangani Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon, a friend of Pacquiao, said he is happy with what he heard. "He could be the first president from Sarangani province," Solon said.

Dionisia Pacquiao said she is proud of his son's accomplishment. However, she leaves it to fate if his son would be the next president of the republic.

"Susuportahan ko siya, bahala na ang Diyos kung saan siya dadalhin sa mundo ng pulitika," Dionisia said.

Pacquiao has yet to react to Duterte's statement.

This is not the first time Duterte mentioned that Pacquiao may become the president of the Philippines one day.

Duterte first mentioned the possibility following Pacquiao's victory over Jessie Vargas last year.