How did we ended up electing plunderers, comedians, children of tyrants, people with fake diplomas, rebels, action stars, and athletes in the most important government offices of our country? I am happy we live in a democracy where we can elect and impeach our leaders, but is this the best we Filipinos can offer to a nation that was earned in blood?
There is now a growing topic about Manny Pacquiao’s future plans in the Philippine government. He has recently told reporters that he has no ambitions of running for president. But of course, it’s too early to declare such plans. It’s best to play it safe like what President Duterte did. He kept his mouth shut until the last minute and it worked quite well for him. Doing so would mean his opponents would not have interests of digging skeletons from his closet.
Pacquiao has been winning government elections since 2010. He was elected as a congressman for Sarangani on two terms and later became a senator after winning the 2016 national elections. His wife also became vice-governor of Sarangani. Even his brother, you know “that other Pacquiao”, became a congressman as well. So there’s absolutely nothing that’s going to stop him from targeting the highest government position.
I have nothing against Pacquiao running for president, it’s his right. The only thing I’m worried of is the people’s reckless usage of democracy and their timidness to preserve it. I’ve lived long enough in this country to estimate how we Filipinos conduct ourselves when the election day is nearing, both voters and campaigners. I predict that Manny Pacquiao will win if he decides to run for president because of these five reasons:
1.) He’s the “lesser evil”
His competition for the presidency will most likely be the same old names of the political arena. Names of whom were already exposed of graft and corruptions. Since Pacquiao has no known records of criminality during his terms in public service, people will most likely choose him over the hardcore crooks.
2.) He has money to fund his campaigns
Running in the national elections is expensive and money is no problem for him. We’ve always wondered why Manny has not yet retired from boxing even though he’s already a senator. In my opinion, he’s probably saving up for future campaigns. With enough money, he can even run his own independent party where the names of other incompetent politicians won’t drag him down since he’ll be able to choose his own running mates.
3.) He’s pro-America
With President Duterte’s pivot to China, many Filipinos are weary of the implications that this may cause. Our sovereignty over the West Philippine Sea has been challenged and we are also heavily in debt to China to fund the “Build Build Build” project. This is causing some qualms from political analysts that this can be a debt trap with negative blow-backs to our sovereignty similar to what happened to our African counterparts where their national ports and resources are now being controlled by Chinese businesses after failing to pay their debts. There is also dissent among Filipinos about the growth of illegal Chinese workers in shady and illegal businesses that has entered the country. Recent studies also show that Filipinos are still well inclined towards America. With Manny Pacquio being pro USA, he will most likely also get good support from both Filipino voters and American politicians.
4.) Public support for him is growing
When it comes to elections, I would personally say that majority of Filipinos vote with their hearts and not with their brains. That’s mainly the reason why plunderers and celebrities have made it into public office. They’re able to court the voters with sweet jingles and pretending to be advocates of the poor in their campaign commercials.
But Manny, even though illiterate, speaks his true intentions and can be brutally honest at times. And that’s what the people has always wanted. That’s how you catch the attention of people, just like Duterte’s antics during his campaigns. He’s open with his religious and political views which he is quite known for. Many of his sentiments are inline with the majority of the Filipino masses’, such as his views against divorce and same-sex marriage, being in favor of corporal punishment and being pro-life at the same time, modernization of military and support of drug war, and pro-poor advocacies. On top of these, he is the poster boy of today’s rags-to-riches story which adds bonus points to his credibility of being one with people in poverty. A type of life story many Filipino voters are suckers of and many politicians exploit quite excellently in their campaigns.
5.) Support from “political pokpoks”
I project that his popularity, influence, and money is about to go higher in the next few years. This of course attracts the “political pokpoks”, the type of politicians who cling on other politicians with greater influence and resources. We will see candidates from other parties switching to his side or at the least compliment him for his endeavors just so they can get their on-cam exposure. These political pokpoks have their own followers that can also end up supporting Manny.