MANILA, Nov 30 (Mabuhay) – Vice President Jejomar Binay on Monday lauded Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao for stricking with him amid alleged pressures to change his allegiance to other presidential aspirants.
“Doon mo nakita na itong si Congressman Manny Pacquiao ay talagang tunay na tao,” Binay said at the sidelines of a forum in Makati. “Talagang napaka maka-Diyos at hindi siya nagpa-pressure.”
Binay was reacting to the statement of Pacquiao in General Santos City on Friday, in which the boxing icon stressed that his support remains with Binay despite the recent filing of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte of his certificate of candidacy (COC) for president in the 2016 elections.
Pacquiao is running for senator under Binay’s United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) party.
It was earlier rumored that Pacquiao was wooed by the administration’s Liberal Party to shift his allegiance and be part of its senatorial slate, but the boxer-turned-politician reportedly declined the offer.
During Binay’s visit at General Santos City on Friday, Pacquiao reiterated his support for the vice president. “May isang salita ako, kay VP talaga ako,” he said.
Pacquiao said he is confident that his friendship with fellow Mindanaoan Duterte will not be affected by his decision.
“Talagang magkaibigan kami, close kami. Hindi iyan maapektuhan dahil dito [sa desisyon ko], politics lang ito,” he said.
Duterte’s camp had earlier stated that the mayor wanted Pacquiao to be part of his team should he decides to run for president.
Binay, for his part, said he and Pacquiao shared a deeper connection as candidates.
“Alam mo kaming dalawa ay nagkakaisa bilang kandidato sapagkat kami, yung hirap ay nalaman talaga namin, simula nung kami ay bata pa. At pareho din kaming nalampasan ang kahirapan,” he said. (MNS)