BIGGEST SUPPORTER. Presidential aspirant Senator Manny Pacquiao listens as his wife, Jinkee, serenades the crowd at the North Reclamation Area, Cebu City on Friday night (May 6, 2022). Pacquiao is confident poor Filipinos will vote for him on Monday. (Photo courtesy of Manny Pacquiao Facebook)

CEBU CITY –Senator Manny Pacquiao expects to be elected as president on Monday through the support of the poor sector which he said is made up of about 30 million.

In his grand rally outside a mall at the North Reclamation Area in this capital city on Friday, he told the crowd that more than 30 million people are secretly supporting his bid and will be entitled to his “pabahay” (housing) program.

Tahimik lang tayo. Ang akong mga botante katong mga pobre. Ang kanang saba diha sa social media kanang mga datu nga mata-pobre. Ang pobre intawon daug-daogon lang (We’re just quiet. My voters are the poor. Those who are boisterous in social media are the rich who look down on the poor. They bully the poor),” he said.

As a Christian, he considers it his duty not to abandon the poor and serve them, regardless of the outcome of the elections.

“Human naman akong paggamit sa kusog sa ring. Karon gamiton nako akong kusog sa pagtabang sakong mga kaigsuonan. Kana ang akong commitment. Dili lang para sa Inyo na commitment kundi didto sa Ginoo (I’ve already used my strength in the ring. Now I will use my strength to help my brothers and sisters. That’s my commitment, not only to you but my commitment to God),” he said. 

The 43-year-old retired world champion boxer vowed to lobby for the amendment or creation of a law that will unmask politicians and public officials who are using their positions to hide their wealth amassed from government resources.

Ako napuno na pud. Pila na ka eleksyon ang naagian, ang mga politko puro pangako pero ang mga tawo nipobre og samot, ang nadatu katong mga tawo nga naglingkod. Ako nang amendahan ang batas nga Anti-Dummy Law kay ang ilang kayamanan gitago sa ubang tawo para di mahalata nga dato na kayo sila (I'm fed up. How many elections have passed, politicians are just good at promises but the people are getting poorer, while those who are sitting in power are getting richer. I am going to amend the Anti-Dummy Law because they have been hiding their wealth through other people so that they won’t appear they are rich),” Pacquiao said in his speech.

He prodded the Cebuanos not to get lured with empty promises even as he invited them to consider his honest intention to serve the country.

On Wednesday, Pacquiao and his team held a caravan at the southern localities of Cebu and went westward for a sleepover in Balamban town, before going north and then back to Cebu City for an island sortie.

The rally was attended by thousands of supporters and members of the political party, Probinsya Muna Development Initiative.

The senator is unfazed by surveys which Ferdinand Marcos Jr. consistenly dominates, comparing it to the triumph of President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016.

“Mao nang karon mga isguon murag hayag na ang atong kadaugan. Ilaha nang survey basin makuratan sila pareha ra gud tong kay Digong (That’s why dear brothers and sisters, we see a clear victory. Give them the surveys because they might be surprised just like what happened with Digong),” he said. 

He recalled that President Duterte ranked as low as third spot in pre-election surveys.

“Ngano man? Kay ang mga pobre tao didto nagsuport, didto nakig-usa kay Duterte mao na ang ilang style. Kini mag igsuon, laban ninyo ni tanan. Samot ta magka-landslide kay daghan na kaayo nag-fill up og pabahay form (Why? Because all the poor people have supported him. They united for Duterte. That’s their style. Now, my brothers and sisters, this is your fight. We will also have our landslide win with many people have signed up the housing forms),” Pacquiao said.

If he won’t succeed, he said he will continue helping Filipinos as he knows how to live a miserable life, being homeless and sometimes sleeping hungry during his younger days.

He rallied Cebuanos, whom he called “igsuon” (brothers and sisters), to support the same Manny Pacquiao who shared the fruits of his boxing career.

Pacquiao will culminate his campaign on Saturday with a miting de avance at his hometown, General Santos City. (With a report from Lade Jean Kabagani/PNA)