PACQUIAO for president?
President Rodrigo Duterte joked about the Filipino ring icon possibly seeking higher office when Sen. Manny Pacquiao visited him in Malacanang.
Upon entering Malacañang’s Music Room, Duterte raised Pacquiao’s hand and quipped, “For President na ito ah.”
Later, Pacquiao handed Duterte a “Fight On” shirt.
The courtesy call came a week after Pacquiao regained the WBO welterweight title from Mexican-American fighter Jessie Vargas last November 6.
“I would like to send the warmest congratulations of the Filipino people and government to the senator for doing us proud... At saka tama ‘yung ano, tama ‘yung pagdepensa mo kay ano, kay Bato,” Duterte said.
The President also showed Pacquiao the list of high profile narco personalities .
Duterte praised Pacquiao for coming to the defense of Dela Rosa over the all-expense paid trip to Las Vegas that the pugilist-politician had given the PNP chief.
Earlier, the Office of the Ombudsman launched a probe after Dela Rosa admitted to letting Pacquiao shoulder his and his family’s expenses in their trip to Las Vegas to watch the senator’s bout with Mexican Jessie Vargas.
Duterte has told the People’s champ that he was right in defending the police chief.
“Tama yung pag-depensa mo kay ano, kay Bato. Ang dinonate mo yung skill mo. It is a donation kung sabihin mo pano niya makita yung skill mo,” Duterte was heard telling Pacquiao.
“Iyung expenses kaya mo man, commensurate to your wealth. So ang binayaran mo doon para mapapanood niya ang skill mo. There is no criminal liability.”
In his latest comment on the controversy, Dela Rosa said he was willing to go to jail if it is proven that he violated the law.
Dela Rosa was at ringside in Las Vegas last week when Pacquiao stopped Vargas to claim the World Boxing Organization welterweight championship.
Pacquiao reportedly bought some 2,000 tickets, worth almost $1 million, and flew in some of his friends from government to watch his comeback fight.
Pacquiao asked the Ombudsman to instead focus its efforts on probing the real scandals, such as the alleged mismanagement of funds for Yolanda rehabilitation.