Pacquiao: 'Presidency not yet on my mind'
MANILA, Philippines – It looks like Filipino boxing superstar and lawmaker Manny Pacquiao isn't ready to climb up the hierarchy of Philippine politics just yet.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News' Dyan Castillejo and boxing analyst Ronnie Nathanielz, Sarangani Rep. Pacquiao reiterated he isn't even thinking about the presidency.
"Wala sa isip ko yan. Kung anong katungkulan ko ngayon, 'yun ang nasa isip ko," said Pacquiao in reaction to the statement of his promoter, Bob Arum, that he could become president someday.
He added he is taking his time to fulfill his duties as a congressman for the lone district of Sarangani. Pacquiao said he is still on the mission to lift his constituents from poverty.
"Makaserbisyo ng totoo, makatulong sa kapwa, maraming nangangailangan ng tulong na kelangan nating aksyunan," Pacquiao said.
"Pero hindi naman lahat natin matutulungan, at least makabawas tayo sa nangangailangan ng tulong," he added.
Over the weekend, Top Rank chief Arum claimed that his prized fighter from General Santos City can go a long way in his political career. He said Pacquiao can go as far as becoming a president in 10 years.
"[H]e is 'a work in progress' conceivably learning the arts and wiles of politics and I believe he is going to be very successful in what he does and in what he will do as a politician, to the best of the Philippines," he said.
Pacquiao's fellow lawmakers earlier voiced opposition to the boxer becoming a president.
Dasmariñas City Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr., chairman of the House committee on suffrage and electoral reforms, said 32-year-old Pacquiao is too young to become president. He said the boxer and will have to wait for 12 more years before he qualifies as a presidential candidate. The required age to become a presidential candidate is 40.
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, for his part, said that although he is awed by Pacquiao's triumphs in boxing, he doesn't think Pacquiao can handle the job.
Pacquiao is set to fight former world champion "Sugar" Shane Mosley this coming May in Las Vegas, Nevada.