Filipino athletes seek elective posts in 2022 polls

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 9) – The 2022 elections will showcase a number of athletes gunning for national and local posts. While some have long had political careers, others are making their first foray into politics.

The list is led by Sen. Manny Pacquiao, who's now seeking the highest post in the land. The Filipino boxing legend formalized his presidential bid on the first day of filing of certificates of candidacy (COC). 

Pacquiao - the only eight-division champion in boxing history - announced his retirement days before filing his COC for president. He lost via unanimous decision in his last fight against Cuban boxer Yordenis Ugas in August. 

Pacquiao was also representative of Sarangani's first district from 2010 to 2016.

Also in the list is Senate President Tito Sotto, who won medals for the country as a member of the national bowling team. Sotto is running for vice president, alongside presidential aspirant Sen. Ping Lacson.

Meanwhile, 1988 Seoul Olympian Monsour Del Rosario is the only former national athlete who filed his COC for senator.

Del Rosario, who's running under the Lacson-Sotto slate, previously served as councilor and congressman of Makati City.

In the party-list race, former national polo team player and House Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero will seek reelection as 1-PACMAN Party-list representative.

Volleyball player Michele Gumabao was picked as the second nominee of Mothers for Change or MOCHA Party-list.

Athletes go local

Former national fencing team member Richard Gomez and multi-titled collegiate head coach Franz Pumaren are eyeing seats in Congress.

Gomez - the mayor of Ormoc City - will try to swap positions with his wife, Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez.

Pumaren, on the other hand, will seek a congressional seat in Quezon City's third district, where he is currently councilor.

San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora - a former De La Salle Green Archer - filed his COC for a second term.

Former and current Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) players are included in Zamora's slate for councilors: reelectionist Paul Artadi (1st district), and newcomers Ervic Vijandre (1st district), Don Allado (2nd district), and two-time league Most Valuable Player James Yap (1st district).

Making his political debut is four-time PBA MVP and Magnolia Pambansang Manok Hotshots team manager Alvin Patrimonio, who filed his COC for mayor of Cainta in Rizal province.

Former Ginebra cager Dodot Jaworski - who's making a political comeback - filed his candidacy for Pasig City vice mayor, running alongside incumbent Mayor Vico Sotto. Jaworski was a former congressman of the city's lone district.

Former Coca-Cola Tigers head coach Binky Favis also filed his COC for vice mayor of Parañaque City, where he is an incumbent councilor.

Pacquiao's boxing trainer Buboy Fernandez is seeking reelection as vice mayor of Polangui town in Albay province.

Athletes who filed their candidacies for city/municipal councilors are retired PBA player Ato Agustin (San Fernando City, Pampanga), spiker Charo Soriano (Tuguegarao City, Cagayan), and fencer and 2019 Southeast Asian Games bronze medalist Jolo Viceo (San Rafael, Bulacan).