MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday quipped that Senator Manny Pacquiao may become president of the Philippines one day.
Pacquiao paid a courtesy call on Duterte following his victory over Jessie Vargas last November 5.
While raising Pacquiao’s hand, Duterte was heard saying, “For president na ‘to ha.”
Pacquiao confirmed his presidential ambitions to Agence France-Presse (AFP) in 2013, and in the run-up to the Filipino boxing legend’s bout against American Floyd Mayweather, Pacquiao's American promoter, Bob Arum, reignited Pacquiao-the-politician talk when he said his client had a strategy laid-out for a presidential run.
"He is going to be a president," Arum told paparazzi website TMZ. "He is going to run for the Senate of the Philippines in 2016 and then 2022 or maybe later he'll run for president."
Pacquiao indeed ran for the Senate under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) ticket of defeated presidential candidate Jejomar Binay and received more than 16 million votes to rank seventh among the 12 winning senators.
He will be qualified to run for president in the 2022 elections.
During the courtesy call, Duterte congratulated Pacquiao for his victory.
“I would like to send the warmest congratulations of the Filipino people and govt to the senator for doing us proud,” Duterte said. - report from Zen Hernadez, ABS-CBN News; with Agence France-Presse