By Allen Estabillo
Boxing sensation and incumbent Sarangani Representative Emmanuel Pacquiao formalized his bid on Tuesday afternoon for a second term at the House of Representatives, along with a complete provincial slate that surprisingly included his wife Jinkee as vice gubernatorial bet.
Pacquiao, who is running under the People’s Champ Movement (PCM)-United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) coalition, officially filed his certificate of candidacy (CoC) at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) provincial office in Alabel, Sarangani around 1:38 p.m. amid rousing cheers by local political leaders and supporters.
He was immediately followed by Sarangani Vice Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon, who filed his CoC as PCM-UNA’s candidate for governor.
Pacquiao’s wife Jinkee then pulled off major surprise after she also filed her CoC as the solon’s running mate.
Pacquiao ally and Malapatan town mayor Alfonso Singcoy said Jinkee’s decision to accept the offer to throw her hat into politics reportedly came just an hour of her husband’s schedule to file his own CoC.
“The decision was arrived at around 10 a.m.,” he said.
Singcoy said outgoing Sarangani Governor Miguel Rene Dominguez called him and suggested that Jinkee instead should run after several mayors expressed their disagreement over earlier decision to have businessmanJuan Domino as the running mate of Vice Governor Steve Solon.
Jinkee herself confirmed that it was Gov. Dominguez who prodded her to run for vice governor.
“I prayed hard before making this decision. But I would not have done it without the endorsement of Gov. Dominguez,” she told reporters after emerging from the Comelec provincial office.
Jinkee, who hails from Kiamba town in Sarangani, considers herself as a perfect fit for the position, saying she would mainly complement the realization of her husband’s plans for the development of Sarangani.
“Magiging katuwang niya ako sa pagpapatuloy ng mga magagandang programa para sa aming mga kababayan dito sa Sarangani,” she said.
Pacquiao appeared very elated over Jinkee’s decision to run for vice governor.
“Mas maganda yan at may katuwang ako na mas matutukan ang mga plano at projects ko para sa Sarangani,” he said.
Pacquiao, who handily won over businessman Roy Chiongbian in 2010 for the lone congressional seat of Sarangani, said his slate is running under the platform of good governance and the provision of wider access to basic services for their constituents.
“Our focus will be on providing sustainable livelihood programs, wider access to health care services and education,” he said.