MANILA - Senator Manny Pacquiao clarified on Wednesday that he has no plans of running for president in the future, at least for now.
The boxer-turned-politician issued the statement after President Rodrigo Duterte quipped last Monday that the boxer may be president one day. “For president na ‘to ha," he said while raising Pacquiao's hand.
But the senator said he hasn't thought about that possibility yet.
"Hindi pinag-uusapan, siguro nakita niya na pareho naman kami ng advocacy, pareho ng nararamdaman, so nasabi niya yun," he said.
[It hasn't been talked about. Maybe President Duterte just saw that we had similar advocacies and passions so he said that.]
Pacquiao confirmed his presidential ambitions to Agence France-Presse in 2013 and in the run-up to the Filipino boxing legend’s bout against American Floyd Mayweather.
In 2016, he ran for the Senate and received more than 16 million votes, ranking 7th among the 12 winning senators. He will qualify to run for president in 2022.
Pacquiao however said him clinching the presidency is not up to him.
"Ang Panginoon, ang pagiging President, ang Panginoon ang naglalagay dyan, huwag natin, masyadong mataaas yun para natin pangarapin," said Pacquiao.
[It's God who makes you president. It's too high for me to aim for.]
He added that he is still content with his Senate work and occasional boxing bouts, even hinting he might not continue his government service if he fails to solve the country's problems.
"Pag hindi natin naresolba to, ayaw ko na rin sa pulitika," he said.
[If I don't solve these problems, I don't like politics anymore.]
Pacquiao is just coming off a win against boxer Jessie Vargas.