MANILA—Sen. Manny Pacquiao on Monday refused to confirm if he was running for president, but said it was every politician's dream to become one.
Instead of giving reporters a direct answer, the world champion-turned-senator likened his political career to professional fighting.
"Noong nag-boxing kasi ako, hindi ako nag-boxing para maging 4 rounder, para maging 10 rounder. Nag-boxing ako para mag world champion," Pacquiao told reporters in an online press conference.
"Kahit sinong politiko kahit barangay captain lang, nangangarap 'yan maging presidente."
(I didn't become a boxer to fight in 4-rounders or 10-rounders. I boxed to become a world champion. Any politician even a barangay chairman dreams of becoming president.)
At least 3 senators earlier said Pacquiao told them that he wants to vie for the country's top post next year.
Pacquiao said it is still improper to discuss his political plans at the moment, as the government battles the COVID-19 pandemic.
"'Yung pagiging presidente o pagtakbo, anointed by God 'yan. Kung sino man ilalagay sa posisyon na 'yan, 'yan ay kagustuhan ng Panginoon," he said.
(A president is anointed by God. Whoever wins, that's God's will.)
"Kung ako ang ilalagay ng Panginoon diyan, gagampanan ko ang trabaho ko."
(If God wills it, I will do my job should I get there.)
The senator hinted at a possible campaign platform: "Kung ako ang ilalagay diyan . . . Tapos na maligayang araw ng mga kawatan sa gobyerno. 'Yan ang itaga sa bato."
(The days of corrupt governance will be numbered should I become president. That's a promise.)
Pacquiao landed 5th in a recent survey on possible 2022 presidential candidates.
Ahead of the boxing champ in the said poll were President Rodrigo Duterte's daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio; former Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.; Sen. Grace Poe; and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso.
In the same survey, Pacquaio placed second in possible vice presidential candidates next year.
He trailed Domagoso by 1 percentage point, but was tied with Duterte-Carpio at 15 percentage points.