SENATOR Emmanuel “Manny” D. Pacquiao, Sr., who is running for president in the May 22 elections, has rejected the possibility of stepping down as vice president in tandem with the late dictator’s son, Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr., after the latter’s sister hinted their interest on Wednesday.  

During an interview with DZMM Teleradyo, Senator Maria Imelda Josefa “Imee” R. Marcos said that if Mr. Pacquiao is willing to slide down, they would like to have him as their vice-presidential candidate as he is “super popular” in Mindanao and someone they consider a friend.  

She added that their family did not take recent political attacks from the former boxer personally. “We are not thin-skinned, we know it’s because of the elections, it’s okay.”  

Mr. Pacquiao, however, said the only role he is considering is the top seat, together with his running mate, House Deputy Speaker Jose L. Atienza, Jr.  

“While I’m flattered by various camps seeking me to be their VP, it requires the Presidency to fulfill my promises to the poor and those striving from hardships,” he said in English and Filipino via Viber on Wednesday.   

“My fight as president will continue for change and to suppress the worsening corruption in the country.” 

He added that he believes that this is their moment, noting the increasing number of supporters joining his camp.  

Ms. Marcos said their goal is to garner votes both in the north and the south of the country. The Marcos’s bailiwick is Ilocos in the northern part of the country.   

“Our preference is very obvious, we have the so-called ‘Solid North’. We’re strong in the north. Bongbong is also strong in the National Capital Region in one way or another as well as Region 8 (Eastern Visayas in central Philippines),” she said in English and Filipino.  

“But we are a bit scared when it comes to Mindanao, we’re a little blind there,” she added, “so naturally we’re tending towards the Mindanao and VisMin candidates.” — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan

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