Senator Manny Pacquiao may be adopted by the Liberal Party to run as standard bearer of the opposition in the 2022 presidential race, if the boxing legend is kicked out from the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino/Lakas ng Bayan (PDP/Laban) and opposition leader Vice President Leni Robredo is not running for president.
This is the scenario posited by Senate minority leader Senator Franklin Drilon, an LP stalwart, as stormy weather shakes down the relationship between Pacquiao, PDP/Laban president, and President Rodrigo Duterte, the ruling party’s chairman.
In a pre-recorded Talk to the People aired on Monday, Duterte challenged Pacquiao to name corrupt government agencies and officials within one week to prove the senator’s claim that corruption is getting worse despite the President’s efforts to get rid of unscrupulous public officials and employees.
Pacquiao earlier claimed that corruption continues to exist under the Duterte administration.
Reports say that Pacquiao is considering running for president in 2022.
Duterte said he will campaign against Pacquiao if the senator fails to prove his claim of rampant corruption in government.
In a statement, Pacquiao on Tuesday accepted the challenge hurled at him by the President to expose corruption in the Duterte administration.
“I accept the challenge of President Rodrigo Duterte. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to help you and provide you with information in your anti-corruption campaign. ” said Pacquiao.
At the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum on Wednesday, June 30, Drilon – LP’s vice chairman, predicted that Pacquiao would be ousted as president of the ruling PDP-Laban.
If Pacquiao is ousted as PDP-Laban president, Drilon said the LP may consider him as an option to lead the opposition.
Our concentration is to prepare if in the eventuality that VP Robredo would not run for President, we are open to alliances and we are open to discussion with Pacquiao, said Drilon.