Opinion: Pacquiao will be a lightweight challenging the Duterte-ticket

I boldly accept the challenge of running as PRESIDENT of the Philippines. We need progress. We need to win against poverty. We need government to serve our people with integrity, compassion and transparency. The time is now. I am ready to rise to the challenge of leadership” – Senator Manny Pacquiao” (19.09.2021)

Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas Ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) has already a resolution where the incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte is the Vice-Presidential Candidate and with Christopher Lawerence “Bong Go” Tesoro as the Presidential Candidate in the up-coming election. That was official like 10 days ago.

Now today, the other PDP-Laban fraction of Senator Pimentel have announced Pacquiao as the Presidential Candidate and with Senator Koko Pimentel as the Vice-Presidential candidate. This is happening a day after Pacquiao signed a coalition agreement led by MP3 alliance, which is between PDP-Laban – People’s Champ, PROMDI President Mimo Osmeña and PCM legal counsel Atty. Gacal.

So, the Pimentel fraction is giving Pacquiao a boost for his campaign now. They are willing to risk the newbie in the Senate who was only elected into it in 2016. He held a legislative seat in Mindanao since 2010, but haven’t been long in the Congress or a high ranking office. For some this will mean little, but the dismissal of “Bong Go” is for the same reasons as well.

While Pacquiao have been for a full term, as “Bong Go” only was elected in the midterms. These two will challenge each other and the PDP-Laban – People’s Champ have to prove this. This shows that both PDP-Laban tickets isn’t foolproof.

While the other ticket has the incumbent President on it. The main ticket is weak with the aide and a short term senator. These are both not winning or sincere ones. Yes, PacMan is a favoured man and a popular one. However, he is not a seasoned politician in the conning landscape of Filipino lawmakers.

Pacquiao has to show power towards the dynasties, the powerful families and the incumbent President. He is not only challenging “Bong Go”. He is going after Duterte who still has a huge following. It is not like Pacquiao is fighting against random candidates. That he has Sen. Pimentel on the ticket is helping, but is it enough?

I cannot see how Pacquiao or Pimentel will get this through the PDP-Laban at this stage. As they are working directly for Duterte and his causes. The fraction will have to challenge outside the party. Even if that meaning Pimentel have to leave the party of his father. “Nene” Pimentel Jr. founded the party in 1982 and this would be an end of an era with the possible break from the party. Because “Koko” does not have enough strength to compete with Duterte at this point of time. That seems impossible.

This is why with the challenge and dispute between these two tickets. Expect the “Bong Go” ticket to go ahead. While Pacquiao will have to do this on the outside. They have to make the People’s Champ Movement as a national party and run with that. Since, the PDP-Laban will be Duterte domain for now. Until proven otherwise, I will stand by that statement and Pimentel will not change this. He will be vital for the ticket of Pacquiao, but not enough to beat Duterte internally.

Pacquiao needs a K.O. but he will struggle on this one. He is not in the ring, but outside his comfort zone. This will be hectic, unfriendly and he will battle every step ahead. Pacquiao has been beaten and gotten punched before, but this will be humiliating and he deserves better. As the hero and champion he is. It is too early and he challenges someone who does whatever to get his way. This is why he going into a ring where he will be outplayed and outmanoeuvred. One wrong step and he will be an easy target to fall. Peace.

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