Pacquiao Sets Transfer To PDP-Laban

13 April 2012

MANILA, Philippines - Boxing champion and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao is open to joining the political party of Vice President Jejomar Binay in preparation for his plans in the 2013 elections.

But Pacquiao made it clear that he has not yet taken his oath as member of Binay's PDP-Laban. Pacquiao, currently member of the Nacionalista Party, is reportedly planning to run for governor in the 2013 elections.

"The Vice President and I are friends. We are close. Some people think I have joined PDP but I have not taken my oath yet. I support all worthwhile endeavors," Pacquiao said, in Filipino during a chance interview with reporters at the sidelines of the energy summit in Davao City.

Asked if he has talked to Binay about it, Pacquiao said he regularly talks with the Vice President. "We are friends so there is no problem." At present, Pacquiao said he continues to work alongside the Aquino government in programs to uplift the poor despite belonging to a different political party.

Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel said that Pacquiao will take his oath as member of PDP anytime soon. Pimentel said that Pacquiao and party leaders have reached a so-called meeting of the minds on the boxing champ's transfer to the political party from the administration Liberal Party which he joined shortly after the 2010 elections.

"There has been a meeting of the minds. We are just waiting for the formal oath taking," said Pimentel, who is also seeking re-election in next year's midterm elections.

Pimentel, in Davao for the energy summit, said Pacquiao will be the PDP Laban's gubernatorial bet in Saranggani next year.

"He will join the party but not as a (candidate for) senator) because he is still underage. He will be running for governor of Saranggani," Pimentel said in a text message.

Pimentel said the party is still hoping to have Pacquiao take the oath before his next fight with Timothy Bradley in June this year. "We will try to squeeze (the oath taking) during his training," Pimentel added in Filipino.

Born on December 17, 1978, Pacquiao is two years shy from 35 which is the Constitutional age requirement for individuals running for senator.