MANILA - Sen. Manny Pacquiao on Wednesday said he is not open to running for vice president in the 2022 elections, saying his only options are to seek the presidency, re-election, or to retire from politics.
In an interview with ANC's Headstart, the boxer turned lawmaker was asked if he was open to running for vice-president.
"Hindi po. Itong tatlo ang pinagpipilian ko: either tumakbo sa highest position or magbalik sa Senado or mag-give up na sa politika," he said.
(No. These are my 3 options: either run for the highest position or return to the Senate or give up on politics.)
Asked if his decision to not go for the second highest executive seat was because President Rodrigo Duterte has announced that he will seek the position next year, Pacquiao said: "Hindi ko po ano yan. Sa totoo lang, wala sa isip ko 'yang posisyon na ‘yan." (Honestly, that position isn't in my mind.)
"At katulad ng sabi ko, ano man ang maging desisyon ko, paninindigan ko at ipaglaban ko at sisikapin ko lahat ng aking makakaya para ma-accomplish ko yung pangarap ko para sa taongbayan," he said.
(As I have said, whatever my decision will be, I will stand by it and fight for it, and I will do my best to accomplish my dreams for the people.)
Pacquiao said that he had dinner with Manila Mayor Isko Moreno a long time ago. He also confirmed that he met with Vice President Leni Robredo, but he said they only talked about the problems of the country and solutions to it, and there were no discussions of election plans.
He said he will announce his plans for next year before October, but he already mentioned that retirement is a strong contender.
"Malaki po ang consideration para 'yung mag-retire (There is big consideration to retire)," he said. The senator said he is disappointed at how some people create "fabricated stories" about him just to tarnish his name.
A preference survey for presidential candidates by Pulse Asia released in July saw Pacquiao in a three-way tie for third place with Robredo and Sen. Panfilo Lacson. The list was topped once again by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
Pacquiao meanwhile ranked second in the preference survey for vice-presidential bets in the same time period. He shares the position with Senate President Vicente Sotto III, former Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., ousted House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, and Sorsogon Gov. Francis Escudero.