MANILA (UPDATE) - Sen.Manny Pacquiao was installed as the national party president of the ruling PDP-Laban Wednesday night.
House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, meanwhile, was named the party's executive vice president.
PDP-Laban is the political party of President Rodrigo Duterte.
The oath-taking took place during the party's fellowship night in Quezon City.
“Fair but firm, this is the kind of leadership that you can expect from Manny Pacquiao PDP-Laban Party President,” Pacquiao said.
“To be given this rare opportunity to lead the PDP-Laban is an immense honor and responsibility. By God’s grace, I will not waste this platform that you have entrusted me.”
Sen. Koko Pimentel, the outgoing national party president, said Pacquiao will bring in new and modern ideas the political party needs ahead of the 2022 national elections. He added he is confident PDP-Laban will remain the dominant party even after 2022.
Velasco also accepted the appointment as the party's acting executive vice president.
The Marinduque lone district representative was offered to become the party's secretary general to replace Davao del Norte 1st District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, but he refused.
“I told Sen. Koko that there are a lot of work in the House of the Representatives that I really need to focus on,” Velasco said in his acceptance speech.
The post left by Alvarez remained vacant, and the party said it respected Alvarez's decision to leave PDP-Laban.
“Wala pa. We are going to discuss that kung sino ang nararapat at nababagay sa pusisyon na iyan. Demokrasya naman tayo. Anyone can go out from the party, leave the party. Kung ano ang desisyon nila, so we respect that,” Pacquiao said.
(Who will come in to take that position is up for discussion. We are a democracy. Anyone can leave the party if he wishes. We respect that.)
Pacquiao, meanwhile, refused to comment on the the Duterte-Duterte tandem proposed by Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo.
Panelo previously suggested that Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte run as president, while her father will be her running mate.
“In terms of politics, ayoko pag-usapan ang pulitika. Ang dapat natin pag-usapan at kung ano ang maitutulong natin sa ating mga kababayan na nagugutom, naghihirap walang mga tahanan,” said Pacquiao.
“Wala pa naman eleksyon, malayo pa iyon at hindi pa dapat pag-usapan iyan.”
(Let’s not talk politics. We should focus on helping our hungry countrymen, the poor and have no shelter. The elections are still far away, let's not talk about it.)--Report from Joyce Balancio, ABS-CBN News