MANILA - Presidential contender and Senator Manny Pacquiao has resumed his campaign activities by barnstorming the territory of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso.
Pacquiao visited the communities of Pandacan and San Andres, Manila, held a motorcade at the Baseco Compound, and staged his grand rally before sunset.
Pacquiao was hosted by the city's local candidates led by mayoralty bet Amado Bagatsing of KABAKA Party.
But in the venue where he faced the media, tarpaulins of Mayor Sara Duterte are prominently displayed along with Pacquiao's and none of his running mate, Rep. Lito Atienza.
Bagatsing explained: "Wala pa kaming kandidatong presidente... ang unang bumisita sa amin si MP so consideration sa amin yun... pero si Sara Duterte ang aming dala sa vice president."
Pacquiao said his activities are proof that he is not bowing out of the presidential race in favor of Vice President Leni Robredo.
Pacquiao called such rumor as "below the belt."
"Huwag namang ganun, eh busy nga ako sa pagi-ikot eh below the belt naman yan. Baka naman gusto na lang nila akong samahan sa magandang adbokasiya para sa ating bansa," Pacquiao told journalists.
"Kilalala mo ko. Kilala mo naman si Manny Pacquiao, hindi naman ako naatras sa lahat ng laban," the retired boxing champion added.
Pacquiao also defended himself from allegations that he is now getting lazy campaigning.
"Hahaha! Ako? Ako tinatamad? Hindi. Marami lang akong inaasikaso... kailangan yung foundation ng kampanya mo sa ilalim, malakas, matatag," he stressed.
And even if he was repeatedly maligned by President Rodrigo Duterte, Pacquiao still greeted the former on his birthday.
"Ako ay bumabati sa ating Pangulo ng isang maligayang kaarawan. Nawa'y pagpalain siya ng panginoon at bigyan ng malakas na katawan at maraming kaarawan ang darating. More birthdays to come, God is good all the time," Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao meanwhile clarified that he is not that keen on sending former First Lady Imelda Marcos to prison due to her already advanced age.
He said, however, that he will send Mrs. Marcos to a separate cell, if the court will order her imprisonment.
But such leniency he said, does not apply to other Marcos family members who may be convicted in the future.
"Pag sinabi ng korte na ito ay guilty, i-implement natin. Huwag naman yung me priorities na ang dami rin namang nasentensyahan dyan na hindi ini-implement dahil maraming pera," he said.