By Ferdinand Patinio
Former Manila mayor Lito Atienza (left) and Senator Manny Pacquiao (right). (PNA photo by Ferdinand Patinio)
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) – Senator Manny Pacquiao was the first aspirant to file a certificate of candidacy (COC) for president at the Sofitel Harbor Garden Tents in Pasay City on Friday.
The senator also named his running mate — former Manila mayor and Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza.
Accompanied by his wife Jinkee, Pacquiao filed his COC with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on the first day of the one-week filing period.
He is represented by an alliance composed of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), Probinsya Muna Development Initiative (Promdi), and the People’s Champ Movement (PCM).
Pacquiao said an alliance was sought since there is still a problem with PDP-Laban.
“We have an alliance PDP-Laban, Promdi and PCM…since there is still a problem with the party, we opted to use Promdi,” he said in a briefing after filing his COC.
The boxing champion is optimistic about his chances in next year’s polls.
“A survey is just a number. It does not include the voices of the poor people, those that really need our care and love,” Pacquiao said.
As for choosing Atienza as his running mate, Pacquiao said, “I chose Congressman Atienza for he has served the public for more than 50 years. His sincerity, expertise, and real desire to help the country.”
Meanwhile, Atienza said he agreed to run as Pacquiao’s running mate as he supports his advocacies.
“I believe that Manny Pacquiao is the only hope we have in improving our lives, much like how he changed his life from poverty to become the best boxer in the world,” he said.
Meanwhile, other personalities that also filed their respective COCs for senator are Antique Rep. Loren Legarda and Sorgoson Governor Francis Escudero.
Legarda filed her COC while Escudero’s COC was submitted by lawyer George Garcia.
On the other hand, the Agricultural Sector Alliance of the Philippines (AGAP) party-list was the first to file their List of Nominees and Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance (CONA) for the May 2022 polls.
AGAP was represented by its first and second nominees Nicanor Briones and Lala Sotto.
Since 2007, the group had been occupying seats in the House of Representatives. (PNA)