NASUGBU, Batangas –Presidential candidate and Senator Manny Pacquiao on Friday reiterated that he and running mate Deputy Speaker Lito Atienza will not withdraw from the race following alleged unification talks initiated by the camp of Vice President Leni Robredo.
“Ang desisyon kasi namin ni Vice Lito (Atienza) ay tuloy ang laban, at para ito sa bayan, hindi ito para sa sarili namin. Kasi kung ang iniisip namin para lang sa sarili namin, makikipag-compromise kami, mahirap naman ‘yon,” Pacquiao said in a media briefing
(Our decision is to continue the fight. This is for the country and not for ourselves. If we were only thinking of ourselves, we would have compromised, but that would be difficult.)
“Ang pinaglalaban namin dito ay talagang tunay na pagbabago, kasi ‘yun naman talaga ang hangad ko, ang hangad namin, wala kaming halos vested interest kundi talagang purely. Sayang ito kapag pinalampas pa natin itong pagkakataon na ito, dahil para sa taong bayan ito,” Pacquiao added.
(What we are fighting for is real change, because that is truly our intention. We have no vested interest, our interest is pure. We might regret it if we miss this opportunity, because this is for the Filipino people.)
In a separate forum in Quezon City, Atienza claimed the camp of Vice President Leni Robredo approached him for possible unity talks.
“Yes na-approach na ako, hindi ko naman pwede sabihing hindi ako in-approach ninuman. Merong nag-approach sa akin… si Leni. Pero hindi katanggap-tanggap kay Manny,” he said.
(Yes I was approached. I could not say I was not approached at all by anyone. Someone approached me…Leni. But it was unacceptable for Manny.)
“Not herself personally, but her official representative,” Atienza clarified.
“Naghahanap din sila ng parang re-shuffling eh. I tried delivering the message. Sabi ni Manny, ‘Matalo tayo kung matalo, pero ayoko namang manalo dahil sa negosasyon.’ That was an answer that I had to respect,” he said.
(Manny said we lose if that’s our fate, but I don’t want to win just because of negotiations.)
But Lacson rejected Atienza’s call and even said he was insulted by it.
Atienza has apologized to Lacson for his action.
Lacson, who is now an independent candidate after leaving his party, Partido Reporma, said he has rejected such calls “for the nth time.”
With no signs of other presidential candidates backing out from the race, Pacquiao said he and Atienza would also proceed with their bid.
“Maririnig naman natin ‘yung opinyon ng aking vice president na willing din naman siya kung sakali. Pero hangga’t walang galawan, tuloy ang laban namin.”
(You would hear the opinion of my vice president that he is willing to withdraw if ever. But with other candidates not making any move, the fight continues.)–LDF, GMA News