Senator and boxing icon Manny Pacquiao took a jab at his "doubters" on social media as a movement clamoring for his presidential run next year started warming up.
On Facebook, where the 2022 battle for Malacañang is expected to take place due to limitations of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pacquiao posted the photo collage detailing his journey from poor boy in country's Tuna Capital, to boxing champion turned politician.
It gained over 250,000 likes, 10,000 shares, and 8,700 comments as of noon on Wednesday.
"TO ALL THOSE WHO DOUBTED ME, THANK YOU! YOU WERE THE FUEL THAT DROVE ME TO BE BETTER," said the copy of the photo collage that was also well-received by the growing online community "Manny Pacquiao for President Movement" that has over 190,000 members.
“MPPM was formed last year by a group of friends. Only a few people started this. The group grew each day and per our last meeting, we have covered nine regions with respective leaders,” group president Noreen Tormis told Manila Bulletin.
Bulk of the members as of now are from the Visayas and Mindanao, she said. Pacquiao is currently party president of PDP Laban, the same banner that incumbent Rodrigo Duterte ran under in 2016.
“For now, we are still in the planning stage. We are still tapping people, building our network. A lot of people are showing interest. They want to be a part of the movement because they believe in Senator Pacquiao. He might be the President that we need,” Tormis said.
Pacquiao's well-documented ascent will prove useful in the event that he runs for President, Ramon Casiple, Executive Director of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reform, earlier told reportr.
Late last year, Pacquiao announced he was launching an eponymous digital payment platform. To critics on social media, Pac Pay which became a meme, seemed like a bid to increase his influence ahead of elections.
Pacquiao placed fifth in the last Pulse Asia survey that was led by the President's daughter and political heir, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.