Presidential candidate Manny Pacquiao does not support the call of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno for Vice President Leni Robredo to withdraw from the May 9 presidential elections, his campaign manager said Tuesday.
Pacquiao missed the Easter Sunday press conference wherein Moreno, flanked by Lacson and another presidential candidate, Norberto Gonzales, called on Robredo to withdraw her candidacy.
"No, he does not," Buddy Zamora said when asked in an ANC interview if Pacquiao supports Moreno's challenge to Robredo during a joint press conference on Sunday that the senator was supposed to attend.
"Sen. Pacquiao believes that the choice is up to the people. And since everybody filed their candidacy for president. He wants to be really coming from the people and not from any calls for others to withdraw," he added.
Pacquiao was said to be on the way to the Manila Peninsula Hotel for the joint press conference but he could not make it on time, Zamora said. It was Lacson whourged Pacquiao to attend, he added.
"The theme was supposed to be for unity which is a very vague notion. I think they were going to say that they were not going to withdraw from the election," Zamora said.
"He (Pacquiao) had believed that he wanted the public to hear it from his own mouth that he has no intention of withdrawing and that he was going to see it through to the end," he added.
Moreno urged Robredo to withdraw from the presidential race as he accused the vice president's camp of asking other presidential candidates to back out from the elections.
With how the press conference turned out, Zamora said he doesn't believe "anything was achieved by that presscon."
"I think it's just an afterthought for Mayor Moreno to be calling for the withdrawal of VP Leni. I think that's how the conversation went," he added.
Zamora said he was relieved that Pacquiao did not make it in the press conference. The three attendees faced online backlash over how they spoke against Robredo.
"We call it divine intervention that he did not make it. He was actually in the air, circling around, waiting for instructions to land. But unfortunately, I was able to land just before 2 p.m. and the presser had already finished," he added.
During the joint press conference, Moreno, Lacson, and Gonzales signed a joint statement saying that they commit to serving the people whoever wins the elections, and that they would not withdraw from the race.