Pacquiao remains open to Atienza’s ‘MaSo’ proposal

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 08 2022 09:44 PM

PROMDI presidential candidate Sen. Manny Pacquiao admitted Friday that he would support the possibility of a "MaSo" (Manny-Sotto) tandem if his running mate Deputy Speaker Lito Atienza decides to quit the race and give way for Senate President Tito Sotto. 

Pacquiao clarified that this scenario is only being brought up by Atienza although there are no formal effort from either side to make it happen.

In a media briefing during his campaign sortie in Batangas, the retired boxing star said that the conditions set by Atienza for his withdrawal are all his running mate's ideas and he has nothing to do with it.

“Narinig namn natin ang opinyon ng ating vice-president, willing din naman siya kung sakali (withdraw) ngunit hanggat walang galawan eh tuloy ang laban namin,” Pacquiao said.

“Kung sakaling magdesisyon sya ang nasa isip namin na pwede lang eh si Senator Vicente Sotto.”

Pacquiao also confirmed the statement of Atienza who claimed that he was approached by people representing the camp of Vice-President Leni Robredo who tried to convince them to withdraw. 

He rejected the offer, insisting that their decision to join the presidential derby was prompted by their commitment to giving Filipinos a government that is God-fearing and free of corruption. 

“Ang desisyon kasi namin ni vice Lito ay tuloy ang laban at para ito sa bayan. Hindi ito para sa sarili namin. Kasi kung ang iniisip namin ay para sa sarili namin ay makikipag-compromise kami,” he said.

In a media forum, Atienza revealed that he was recently approached by Robredo’s ‘official representatives to discuss a possible unification of forces.

“Naghahanap din kasi sila ng parang reshuffling eh,” Atienza told reporters during the Kamuning Pandesal Forum.

"I tried delivering their message ang sinabi ni Manny: ‘matalo na kung matalo, pero ayoko naman manalo dahil sa negosasyon.’”

Atienza's knee surgery has kept him from joining any campaign sortie organized by the Pacquiao-Atienza camp.