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Op-Ed: Bob Arum’s wish for Manny Pacquiao getting closer to reality

Arum has been Pacquiao’s promoter for over a decade and he believes Pacquiao will soon become the president of the Philippines.

“It’s 2022, that’s the year Manny would become eligible to run for the presidency,” said Arum more than five years ago when he faced media in one of Pacquiao’s media open workouts.

“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.

What Arum said five years ago is now getting closer to reality as Pacquiao has shelved his boxing career to pursue his long-term political plans.

Pacquiao, a two-term congressman from the lone district of Sarangani in Southern Philippines, has made a big step in pursuing his ultimate political goal by joining the ongoing senate race.

Unlike his current congressional post, a senate seat has a national constituency which is very important if one aims for either the position of vice-president or the presidency. This is the compelling reason why Pacquiao has decided to file his candidacy for senator late last year.

Many of Pacquiao’s critics say the incumbent congressman won’t make it to the senate owing to his lackluster performance as congressman. Pacquiao was severely criticized for his dismal record in congress particularly his habitual absenteeism and limited participation in congressional sessions and hearings.

Pacquiao countered that he has filed many proposed legislation but their passage hinge on political motivations of congressional leaders who do not belong to his party. But he stressed that he has been helping his own constituents in terms of free housing and livelihood assistance.

Pacquiao also said that his absence in congressional sessions can be compensated by the pride and honor he’s been giving the country with his supremacy in the field of sports.

Arum must be really happy with Pacquiao’s performance in the ongoing senate race where he is now ranked No. 3 in the latest SWS survey.

Here are the latest survey ranking where Pacquiao has consistently ranked in the winning circle of senatorial candidates.

SWS Survey

SWS senatorial survey ranking  April 18-20  2016

SWS senatorial survey ranking, April 18-20, 2016
SWS via GMA News

Pulse Asia Survey

Pulse Asia Survey April 12-17  2016

Pulse Asia Survey April 12-17, 2016
Pulse-ABS-CBN via GMA News

During the training for the Pacquiao-Bradley fight, Roach told Pacquiao he will get more votes if he wins impressively in their trilogy fight. Roach is hoping to see Pacquiao in the ring when he is elected president after serving as senator.

“I just told him the better he looks in this fight, the more votes he’ll get,” said Roach, “When I told him that he gave me a real big smile. That was a yes,” he added.

“My goal is to see President Pacquiao fight,” said Roach who like Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum wants to see Pacquiao being sworn in as Philippine president during his lifetime.

Arum and Roach must be very pleased with how Pacquiao is currently performing outside the ring.

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