In what may be seen by his handlers as a jab at his plan to run for president, boxer-cum-lawmaker Manny Pacquiao received on Tuesday an offer from PDP Laban to seek Senate reelection.
Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi told Daily Tribune that the party has urged Pacquiao to consider joining PDP Laban’s senatorial slate in next year’s polls.
“It would be best for Senator Pacquiao to join the senatorial ticket of PDP Laban in the 2022 elections. Despite our differences, he remains our member and we would certainly welcome him if he decides to run for senator under our party,” he said.
Cusi maintained that reelection is a better political option for Pacquiao.
“He would have the full support of the entire political machinery of PDP Laban, giving him a strong fighting chance of securing a seat in the Senate,” Cusi said.
“Another term in the Senate would give him more experience and insight on governance that would be invaluable for his future political plans,” he added.
The energy chief pointed out that Pacquiao seeking reelection under the party will demonstrate that “members could rise above personal political differences for the common good.”
“We need to be united to achieve our common objective to improve the lives of our people and help our economy recover from the crushing effects of the coronavirus pandemic,” he added.
A 31 May resolution by the party urged President Rodrigo Duterte to seek the vice presidency while giving him a free hand in choosing PDP Laban’s presidential bet.
That decision did not sit well with Pacquiao who, even before that party meeting, was issuing statements negative to President Duterte like on the issue of Chinese incursions at West Philippine Sea.
Early last July, Pacquiao caused the issuance of separate resolutions ousting Cusi as vice chair of the party along with two others for alleged disloyalty.
Pacquiao’s faction accused them of supporting the presidential bid of Davao Mayor Sara Duterte, who is not a member of PDP Laban.
On 17 July, in a national assembly in Clark, Pampanga attended by the President himself, PDP Laban declared all positions vacant and elected new officers, with Cusi as president.
Pacquiao was in the United States to prepare for his fight which he lost to replacement Cuban fighter Yordenis Ugas.
On Tuesday, PDP Laban confirmed Duterte formally agreed to run for vice president.