What Boy Abunda would ask presidential aspirant Manny Pacquiao

Miguel Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 04 2021 11:54 PM | Updated as of Oct 05 2021 12:20 AM

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“King of Talk” Boy Abunda would be willing to interview presidential aspirant Manny Pacquiao, whose past remarks about the queer community being “worse than animals” sparked an impassioned television speech from the veteran talk show host in 2016.

Speaking with ABS-CBN News, Abunda said if given a chance to sit down with the retired boxing icon, he would certainly open the topic of the LGBTQ+ community.

Pacquiao had compared queer people to animals in a February 2016 interview, claiming “common sense” dictates that partnerships should only be heterosexual. Pacquiao, who at the time was running for senator for the first time, was explaining why he opposes same-sex union.

“Makakita ka ba ng any animals na lalaki sa lalaki o babae sa babae? Mas mabuti pa ‘yung hayop. Marunong kumikilala, kung lalaki o lalaki, babae-babae. Ngayon, kung lalaki sa lalaki, babae sa babae, mas masahol pa sa hayop ang tao,” he said at the time.

Presidential aspirant and retired boxing icon Manny Pacuiao and veteran TV host Boy Abunda. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News / ABS-CBN
Presidential aspirant and retired boxing icon Manny Pacuiao and veteran TV host Boy Abunda. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News / ABS-CBN

Abunda was among the prominent gay personalities who spoke up against Pacquiao’s statement, saying it would also only take common sense for the boxer-turned-politician to determine whether the entire queer community would support his senatorial bid.

Pacquiao subsequently apologized for hurting the queer community, and for drawing the comparison with animals, but stood by his position against same-sex acts and same-sex union.

Pacquiao, who eventually won a seat in the Senate, is now seeking the top position in the country. He formalized his bid as president by filing his certificate of candidacy over the weekend.

Abunda, in his interview with ABS-CBN News, did not categorically say whether he would vote for Pacquiao, but emphasized that his identity as a gay man is a significant factor in his own process of assessing platforms and voting for a candidate.