Boxing champion and Sarangani Congressman Manny Pacquiao formally filed his Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for senator Friday afternoon at the main office of the Commission on Elections in Manila.
Arriving to loud cheers at the Palacio del Gobernador in Intramuros, Pacquiao came with his wife, Jinkee and sons Emmanuel Jimuel, Jr. and Michael Stephen to seal his senatorial bid for the May 2016 polls.
Running under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) party, the eight-division boxing world champion said one of his top priorities will be to provide the Filipino youth free, quality public education, citing himself being forced to drop out as a youngster in General Santos City because his parents could not sustain sending him to school.
Also on his list of platforms is ending the abuse and harassment being experienced by overseas Filipino workers, mostly at the hands of their employers. Noting that around 2.3 million OFWs fell victims to abusive employers – and shady recruiters in 2014, Pacquiao said he will put together a comprehensive assistance framework for their plights.
Another priority for the 36-year-old Pacquiao is a sports development reform program. Young Filipino athletes who would show potential in different sports disciplines will be trained until such time they are ready to compete in the international stage.
“It is time for the Philippines to be known as a force in sports,” Pacquiao said before members of the media who were present in his COC filing.
However, should Pacquiao be elected to the 24-seat Philippine Senate, his next fight would probably be his last according to his promoter and Top Rank big boss Bob Arum.
Arum told the Los Angeles Times, that working in the Senate will eat up more of his ward’s time compared to his tenure in the lower house.
“He can’t [mess] around and take off to go into a training camp for three months if he’s in office as a senator,” Arum s. “Senators do most of the work in the Philippines. They have to be there virtually every day.”
“He knows if he’s a senator he can’t fight.”