Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III on Wednesday expressed confidence that his ally, Sen. Manny Pacquiao, still has a fighting chance in the 2022 elections despite statistically ranking third in the preferred presidential bets according to Pulse Asia's June 2021 survey.
Pimentel, who serves as PDP-Laban executive vice chair, said the party would not be easily swayed by whoever is leading in pre-election surveys.
"Sa electoral history ng PDP-Laban, may talo din kami. We have major election defeats," he told Kapihan sa Manila Bay media forum.
"Swerte na lang that we have a PDP-Laban member na merong fighting chance," he added, referring to Pacquiao, the party's president.
Eight percent of the 2,400 respondents in the June 6-17 Pulse Asia survey chose Pacquiao for president, statistically tying with Vice President Leni Robredo and Sen. Panfilo Lacson.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio once again led the survey, followed Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, former Sen. Bongbong Marcos, and Sen. Grace Poe in second place.
Pimentel said Pacquiao's proven electoral victory and name recall not only in the Philippines but worldwide would still give him an advantage in the upcoming elections.
He added that things could still change come election day next year. "June pa yung survey na yan, ang election May 2022 pa."
Pimentel reiterated that PDP-Laban's presidential nominee would defend and espouse the party's principles.
Pacquiao has yet to firm up his decision about running for president next year, although he earlier told supporters of Duterte-Carpio to give chance to others who would want to vie for the position.