Pacquiao vows to bring progress to Mindanao

Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 03 2022 08:35 PM

Sen. Manny Pacquiao's Pacman Village in Alabel, Sarangani. Handout photo
Sen. Manny Pacquiao's Pacman Village in Alabel, Sarangani. Handout photo

 Pacquiao groundbreaks future Pacman Villages in Iligan, Marawi 

PROMDI presidential candidate Senator Manny Pacquiao set foot in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur for the first time on Tuesday to woo more voters' support.

His afternoon visit in the war-torn city, via campaign rally, motorcade and checking of the Manny Pacquiao headquarters, have all the more made him realize the impact of corruption to the nation.

Pacquiao said no Filipino will become poor if every centavo of government funds will really go to projects and programs for the people.

Such abuse will not happen if he becomes the next president, Pacquiao said.

"Mayaman ang bansa natin, wala lang development for the past 40 years, 50 years. Imbes na maalyat ang bansa natin, pababa. Bad direction. Dahil dyan sa magnanakaw sa gobyerno. Kaya tuwing nakikita ko na may mga naghihirap na mga Pilipino, nagugutom, mga kawatan ang sinisisi ko. Maghantay lang kayo," Pacquiao said.

Should he become president, Pacquiao said, he will immediately create a special task force against corruption, and will review all government contracts.

Hasmilah, a mother of six, was among those who attended Pacquiao's campaign rally in Marawi late Tuesday afternoon.

She is a Marawi siege survivor.

Life after the siege, worsened by the pandemic, gave them a more difficult time, due to the absence of government assistance, she said.

"Dapat umunlad ang Marawi. Kasi nag-evacuate ako, taga-Marawi kami. Wala kaming nakuhang ano dito sa Marami... wala kaming dumating na ayuda dito," Hasmilah said.

Pacquiao, in a separate interview, said: "Ang gusto ko talaga development, kaunlaran ng Mindanao. Buong Mindanao, wala akong pipiliin na area."

Just like in Marawi City where he showed the area for his future "Pacman Village," Pacquiao also led the groundbreaking ceremonies for a similar project for the people of Iligan City.

The 10-hectare land, where free housing units will be built using Pacquiao's funds in Iligan City, was donated by mayoralty candidate Rudolph "Tata" Tamula.

"Madami pang walang bahay dito 12,000 to 15,000 family in Iligan na wala pang bahay nasa ano sila yung informal settlers so sayang kasi yung location ng informal settlers nasa coastal areas," Tamula said.

Pacquiao, meantime, said he will respect the Iglesia ni Cristo's choice for the presidential and vice presidential races.

He also appealed to government agencies concerned to ensure a brownout-free election day to avoid tension and conflict.