Senator Manny Pacquiao has responded to claims of Supreme Court retired Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio that he is not qualified to run as president in the 2022 national elections for being a ‘topnotcher in absences’ in Congress and Senate.
Carpio said in an interview that Pacquiao may have a good heart, but his track record shows that he is not competent to lead the country.
The former magistrate also brought up Pacquiao leading in terms of the number of absences during his stint in Congress and Senate.
“Ang pagkakaalam ko po ay wala po akong halos pagliban sa aking trabaho sa Senado ngayong 18th Congress or to be specific, apat lang po ang aking nalalaman na pagliban. Mayroon po akong pagliban sa pagpasok noong ako’y congressman pa, bakit naman ngayon ito ay ibinabato pa sa akin?” Pacquiao said in a statement.
“As a congressman, Pacquiao was the No. 1 absentee, he was the topnotcher in absences in Congress. As a senator, he again topped, he was No. 1 in absences,” Carpio said.
Pacquiao said that he skipped Congress hearing during the time he needed to visit his province and checked on his Pacman Village.
“I have been absent not because I want to but because I need to. Kailangan kong puntahan ang aking distrito. Isang dahilan pa ay upang mabantayan at makita ng personal ang Pacman Village, ito po ang libo-libong libreng pabahay na ipinamigay ko sa aking mga kababayan sa Sarangani at Gensan,” he said.
“Galing po ito sa aking dugo at pawis at personal na pondo. Sinimulan ko po ‘yan noong 2004 na hindi pa ako politiko,” he added.
Pacquiao also appealed to Carpio to give him the chance to prove himself that he is worthy of the top post.
“Ang panawagan ko lang po kay former Justice Antonio Carpio, ay sana’y mabigyan niyo po ako ng pagkakataong maipakilala ang tunay na Manny Pacquiao. Nais ko pong malaman n’yo ang aking saloobin, ganun din sa mga taong nagsasabing wala tayong karapatan. Nonetheless, I still respect the opinion of former Justice Carpio. I will take it as a reminder to do better as a public servant and as a servant of God,” he added.