MANILA— Presidential candidate Sen. Manny Pacquiao said Wednesday he was a victim of his circumstances when he used drugs in his youth.
Pacquiao, who recently admitted to using crystal meth as a teen, said he has cleaned up his act since especially when he became a full time boxer
"Sino ba sa atin ang walang nagawang kasalanan? Mahirap po ang aking pinagdaanan," Pacquiao, who worked odd jobs before becoming a global star, said in a statement.
(Who among us has never sinned? I went through a tough time.)
"Namuhay akong mag-isa at naghanapbuhay habang ang karamihan sa aking edad ay masayang nakikipaglaro sa kanilang mga kapwa bata. Kapag mahirap ka at ignorante sa buhay, hindi mo alam ang layunin ng mga taong iyong makakasalamuha at papakisamahan. At kapag bata ka, may mga taong pagsasamantalahan ang iyong murang isipan."
(I had to fend for myself and was already working while most kids were spending time with their playmates. When you're poor and naive you have no clue about the intention of people around you.)
The senator said he has managed to turn his life around when he focused his energy on boxing. He then became an eight-division boxing champion who enjoyed the adulation of fight fans around the world.
"Nagsikap ako sa aking training. Ibinuhos ko ang aking panahon upang maging magaling na boksingero. Mula sa mga maliliit na amateur fight ay nabigyan ako ng pagkakataon na lumaban sa mga pinakamagagaling na boksingero sa ibang bansa," he said.
(I trained hard to become a good boxer. From small amateur fights, I was given the opportunity to face the best boxers in the world.)
"Nilinang po ako ng aking mga karanasan, mabuti man o masama, upang maging matatag sa buhay. Pinatibay po nito ang aking pananampalataya at pagtitiwala sa ating Panginoon."
(I was molded by experience, good or bad, and achieved stability in life. I was strengthened by my faith and trust in the Lord.)
The retired boxer on Tuesday proved he is already drug free by showing the results of the drug test he went through for his recent fight against Yordenis Ugas.
This came after President Rodrigo Duterte alleged that one presidential candidate is a cocaine user.
Pacquiao said, however, his revelation on previous drug use does not change his stance against illegal substances.
The senator vowed a stronger push against drugs by going after big time drug lords while saving their victims.
"The reality is drug users are victims of circumstances in life and they must be given a second chance. Let's jail the big-time drug traffickers and save the users," he said.
"Lahat po tayo ay may hindi magandang nakaraan. I have asked God to forgive me for all the wrong things that I have done. Ang mas mahalaga ay matuto tayo sa ating nakaraan upang mapabuti ang ating kinabukasan."
(We all have our mistakes in the past... What's important is we take the lessons from the past and build ourselves for the future.)