Pacquiao first to file COC for presidency, picks Atienza as VP

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 1) — Senator Manny Pacquiao was the first presidential hopeful to file his certificate of candidacy (COC) for the 2022 elections on Friday.

He surprised the public when Buhay Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza showed up at the Harbor Garden Tent of Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila in Pasay City as his running mate and filed his COC for vice president.

The presidential hopeful said he handpicked Atienza because of his decades of experience in public service when he became the mayor of Manila City and later served in Congress.

If he gets elected, Pacquiao vowed to focus on poverty alleviation, improve COVID-19 pandemic response, boost internet connectivity, provide sufficient power supply, and put an end to corruption by jailing erring officials.

"Ang aking pagtakbo ay hindi lang para sa aking sarili, pamilya, kundi sa sambayanang Pilipino, para mabigyan ng magandang kinabukasan ang ating mga kababayan," he said.

[Translation: I am running not only for myself and my family, but for the Filipino people, so the youth can be given a better future.]

Pacquiao and Atienza are running under the PROMDI political party, which is in alliance with PDP-Laban.

The boxer-turned-politician earlier accepted the nomination to be the standard bearer of a faction within PDP-Laban, which he co-leads with Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III.

Prior to his stint at the upper chamber, Pacquiao also held a seat at the House of Representatives as congressman of Sarangani province.

The filing of COC for elective national and elective posts will be from Oct. 1 to 8. However, substitution of candidates is allowed until Nov. 15.