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article imageOp-Ed: Manny Pacquiao needs senate seat for higher political agenda

By Leo Reyes     Jul 5, 2015 in Sports
Two years ago, Manny Pacquiao admitted he has plans to run in the 2022 Philippine presidential elections. Now Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum has confirmed the incumbent congressman from Sarangani is indeed running for president in 2022.
"He's gonna be a president," Arum told TMZ Sports. "He's gonna run for Senate in the Philippines in 2016 ... and then in 2022 or maybe later, he'll run for President of the Philippines," he added.
Pacquiao's admission is not actually new. In 2011, Arum revealed Pacquiao's political plan.
"It's 2022, that's the year Manny would become eligible to run for the presidency," Arum said before Pacquiao's open media workout according to back in 2011.
"That would be, to me, the biggest achievement of my career, to see this kid how far he has come and how far he can go.
"But I hope I will be alive to see it. I will be age 91. I won't be dancing, I will be in the hospice by then," Arum said with a hearty laugh.
Before his comeback fight against Brandon Rios in Macau, China following his stunning loss against Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012, Pacquiao confirmed to AFP that he has plans of running for president.
“When I started boxing, of course I was planning, you know and thinking about getting to become a champion. So when I enter politics it’s the same thing, Pacquiao said.
“But, you know, it’s far away,” he said. “It’s God’s will,” Pacquiao added.
Arum is right when he said that Pacquiao will have to run for senator first before the planned presidential derby in 2022.
First, Arum knows that Pacquiao will have to wait until 2022 to become an eligible presidential candidate, as he has to satisfy the age requirement provision of the constitution.
Secondly, Pacquiao needs an elective position with national constituency if he intends to pursue his presidential ambition. The senate seat is an elective position with national constituency as opposed to his current congressional position with voters coming from his district in Sarangani Province only.
Pacquiao's appearance in the recent launch of United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), the opposition's political party, signals Pacquiao entry in the senate race.
In a press briefing, UNA Secretary General Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco said Pacquiao is welcome to join the opposition party.
"We have reserved one slot for Congressman Manny. It's up to him if he will accept this or not," Tiangco said.
Pacquiao is one of the potential senatorial candidates who has a high voting preference based on the Pulse Asia survey of possible senatorial candidates for 2016.
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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