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article imageOp-Ed: Manny Pacquiao needs senate seat in 2016 national elections

By Leo Reyes     Nov 29, 2013 in Sports
Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao has about eight years to prepare for the 2022 presidential elections if indeed he has the presidency in mind.
On his promotional trip to Mexico last year, Pacquiao has publicly announced that he was aspiring for the second highest executive position in the land, the vice-presidency of his native country, the Philippines.
But for some lapses on the part of his political advisers, he had to retract from his public statement about his intention to run.
His political advisers may have forgotten that the Philippine constitution requires a vice-presidential candidate to be at least 40 years old to qualify for the position.
It is very clear in this provision of the constitution that Pacquiao is ineligible to run for vice-president in 2016 because he would only be 38 years old by then or two years short of the age requirement for the position.
Pacquiao was born December 17, 1978 and will turn 35 on Dec. 17.
Pacquiao's time will come in 2022 or about eight years from now. By then he will be 44 years old and will be four years over the minimum age requirement.
Obviously, Pacquiao will no longer seek the position of vice-president as he would then be qualified to run as president. Apparently the presidency is his ultimate goal.
Right after Pacquiao's announcement in Mexico about his intention to run for vice-president, some "disgruntled" citizens had a feast day criticizing the fighting congressman for his ill-advised plan.
During his press tour with Brandon Rios, for the second time he talked about his presidential ambitions. Again, the public remained critical of his plan because of his lack of credentials for the highest office in government.
There was an instant uproar about his qualifications— with some zeroing in on his educational background.
Can he tackle the job as vice-president and eventually as the leader of more 90 million people who are constantly looking for someone who can uplift their living conditions?
Can he represent the country well in international diplomacy? Can he fight poverty and raise the living conditions of the poor? Can he make this country great again?
Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao
Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao
With permission from Jun Aquino
These are some questions Pacquaio will have to answer if he is serious with his plan to run for president. Can he face the people in 2022 and say — yes I have the answer to your questions.
Obviously, Pacquiao isn't ready at this time but he has ample time to address these questions from the electorate—and to address them, he needs to prepare.
One of the things he has to do is to run for a senate seat in the 2016 national elections. There is no constitutional prohibition here because by then he will be 38 years old. The minimum age requirement for a senate seat is 35.
A senate seat is necessary for a presidential aspirant because it has a national constituency. Pacquiao, who is on his second term as congressman of Sarangani province, do not have a national constituency because he was voted to office by the people of Sarangani province only.
The ongoing controversy over Pacquiao's tax issues with the IRS in the US and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in the Philippines, may have something to do with his plan to join the senate race in 2016 which is barely two years away.
There is nothing wrong with his early posturing but first he has to solidify his party affiliation before plunging into a determined effort to capture a senate seat in 2016.
Although he is affiliated with the ruling party, the opposition has been enticing him to jump ship in the midst of the pork barrel controversy and other corruption issues involving his party mates.
How Pacquiao handles his affiliation issues will either make or break his determined effort to capture a senate seat in the 2016 national elections.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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