MANILA -- Senator Manny Pacquiao said Wednesday seeking higher office in 2022 was not on his mind, as he revealed that he was finishing his college degree to better understand state affairs.
Pacquiao, who parlayed his world boxing fame into politics, has repeatedly dodged questions about running for president after serving as congressman and senator. He is currently campaign manager for the administration ticket in the May midterm polls.
"Sa ngayon, hindi ko iniisip yung mga thing about running for 2022," Pacquiao told ANC's Headstart, when asked about a possible tandem with Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, President Rodrigo Duterte's daughter.
(Right now, I'm not thinking about running in 2022.)
"Iniisip ko, yung solution about sa problema sa bansa natin especially economic, especially madaming naghihirap ngayon. Yung taxes natin napakataas, nahihirpaan ang taumbayan," he said.
(I'm thinking about solutions to our country's problems, especially economic, especially since many people are suffering. Our taxes are very high, the people are suffering.)
Pacquiao said he was back in school in Manila to finish a college degree. He did not say which school he was attending.
"Nag-aaral ako, yes. Kailangan lang kasi, the most important thing is alam mo sitwasyon ng bansa natin," he said.
(I am back in school, yes. I need it, the most important thing is you know the situation in our country.)
The 40-year-old Pacquiao is of minimum age under the 1987 Constitution to run for president.
Asked about his recent remarks to Filipinos overseas about his political future, Pacquiao said: "What I said is I don't have any plan to run for higher office."
"Masaya ako bilang senador gampanan trabaho ko, tapos nagbibigay ako ng karanagalan sa ating bansa. Masaya na ako diyan nagagampanan ko trabaho ko. Yun ang nasa puso ko," he said.
(I am happy doing my job as a senator and bringing honor to my country at the same time. I am happy just doing my job. That is what's in my heart.)
Pacquiao defeated American challenger Adrien Broner in his return to Las Vegas last January, retaining his World Boxing Association world welterweight crown.
Earlier in February, Pacquiao asked fans on Twitter who he should fight next.