MANILA - Senator Manny Pacquiao on Friday said he is leaving his options open, following efforts from civil groups to unify the opposition for the 2022 elections.
"This call for unity is truly urgent because the survival of our nation is at stake. Ako po ay bukas sa mga ganitong pag-uusap lalo na kung ang layunin nito ay ang maisulong ang anumang hakbang na para sa pagkakaisa at ikabubuti ng bansa," Pacquiao said in a statement, following Vice President Leni Robredo's admission that she was heartbroken over the candidacy announcements of Pacquiao and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso.
[We are open to these talks, especially if our goal is to unite the country and if this is for the betterment of our nation.]
Pacquiao said the unity talks spearheaded by the 1Sambayan "is truly urgent because the survival of our nation is at stake."
"Naniniwala ako na kailangang maging bukas ang isipan ng ating mga lider at bigyan ng halaga ang kapakanan ng bawat Pilipino at hindi ang pansariling ambisyon lamang. We must unite for the greater good," he said.
"We must unite because in unity, there is victory," he added.
Earlier Friday, Robredo said her quest to unify the opposition remains.
"Hindi pa ako sumusuko," Robredo told Noel Ferrer in an interview over Radyo Katipunan.
[I refuse to give up.]
Robredo said during her talks with other political camps, it was "very clear" that many of them already want change.
"'Yung pagpuna na hindi maganda 'yung nangyayari ngayon, kailangan na palitan, klaro 'yun," said Robredo.
Pacquiao on Sunday announced his plan to run for president with a promise to rule with "integrity, compassion and transparency."
Pacquiao announced his presidential candidacy during his PDP-Laban faction's national assembly in Quezon City, amid an ongoing squabble within ruling party PDP-Laban.