Plans for 2022 elections? Pacquiao keeps mum, says ‘I don’t like to talk politics right now’

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 3) — After taking the helm of the ruling party PDP-Laban, Senator Manny Pacquiao dodges questions on his political plans for 2022.

“I don’t like to talk politics right now,” Pacquiao said on Thursday, when asked by CNN Philippines if he intends to run for re-election or seek a higher office when his term ends in June 2022.

The senator maintained that other matters of national interest need to be discussed, adding that it’s too early to talk about elections.

“A lot of people are starving and suffering," he explained. "‘Yan yung mga tao na kailangan natin pagtuunan ng pansin at pag-usapan, kasi masama ang loob ko pag palaging politics ang pinag-uusapan sa panahon ngayon dahil hindi pa naman eleksyon.”

[Translation: A lot of people are starving and suffering. These are issues we need to focus on and discuss, and it upsets me when all people talk about is politics, especially at this time when it’s not yet elections.]

In the interview, the boxer-turned-lawmaker also talked about his statement on regretting entering politics, which he made in a podcast released by a vlogger last week.

“That’s correct. I regret na pumasok pa ako dito sa masalimuot na pulitika at ang daming mga problema,” he told CNN Philippines. “Hindi ko masikmura ang corruption in government, ‘yung pagiging plastikan sa isa’t isa.”

[Translation: That’s correct. I regret entering the complicated world of politics; there are so many problems. I can’t take the corruption in government and the inauthentic interactions among people.]

Pacquiao was sworn in on Wednesday as the acting national president of PDP-Laban, which he vowed to further strengthen. 

He first won a seat in the national government in 2010 as a congressman representing the province of Sarangani. He was re-elected in the House of Representatives in 2013, before he ran and won a senatorial post in the 2016 elections.