Public service a 'lifetime quest' for Pacquiao

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 26 2011 07:19 PM | Updated as of Oct 27 2011 03:49 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Sarangani representative and boxing champion Manny Pacquiao says that while boxing has always been his passion, public service is his "calling" and is a "lifetime quest."

"I was chosen by my people to be their voice, to help them, to improve their lives. It isn't something an 8-week training camp can cure. It is a lifetime quest I have only just begun," Pacquiao said in his personal Yahoo! Sports blog, citing his career as a politician.

The 8-division champ added that he is fortunate to have achieved fame through his exploits inside the boxing ring.

"As a boxer and a world champion, I have been allowed to raise the international awareness of my country, the Philippines. BUt more importantly, it has given me a large platform to bring attention to the needs of so many in my country, to give a voice to those strong enough to speak for themselves," he said.

Pacquiao said there is a big difference between being a boxer and being a congressman. As a boxer, he has greater control over his goals, but as a congressman, he has to cooperate and compromise with others.

"Compromise is the bridge that leads to solutions many times," Pacquiao said. "It forces us to consider the pros and cons of the issues, and though it can be frustrating at times, I understand the rationale behind the process."

Pacquiao said he has a greater responsibility to perform as a congressman, because there is more at stake.

"Where can I do the greatest good? Every day I am faced with these decisions. It is an awesome responsibility," he said.

"It's wonderful to be a world champion boxer, but it's an individual achievement that can't last forever. Public servant is the title that defines me," Pacquiao added.

Pacquiao was recently promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Boxing scribe Ronnie Nathanielz recently said Pacquiao is serious about becoming President of the Philippines.

"He has told me face to face, 'I pray that you live long enough to see me sworn in as President,'" Nathanielz said.

It was also reported that Pacquiao was seeking the vice-presidential seat in 2016, but the pound-for-pound king denied the rumors.

The 32-year-old Pacquiao will not be qualified to run for either president or vice-president in the 2016 elections, as the Constitution requires a candidate for the posts to be at least 40 years old by election time.