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Though opposed to same-sex marriage, Manny Pacquiao claims he has gained more LGBTQ+ supporters

By Brooke Villanueva Published Jan 23, 2022 7:11 pm

Presidential aspirant Manny Pacquiao has long maintained his opposition to same-sex marriage. But despite his stand and the backlash he has received from the public, he claimed he has gained more supporters from the LGBTQ+ community.

At the recently concluded The Jessica Soho Presidential Interviews, the boxing legend stressed that his stance on same-sex marriage remains the same due to his faith and religion. “Hindi po ako pabor dyan. Bilang sa paniniwala natin, sa faith natin sa Panginoon, kailangan, dun tayo sa Panginoon.” 

He drew the ire of many Filipinos in 2016 when he compared the queer community to animals during his electoral campaign for senator. “Common sense lang—makakakita ka ba ng animals na lalaki sa lalaki, babae sa babae? Mas mabuti pa yung hayop, marunong kumilala kung lalaki, lalaki, o babae, babae,” he previously said. “Kung lalaki sa lalaki, babae sa babae, eh mas masahol pa sa hayop ang tao.” 

Did he regret saying that at some point in his life? Pacquiao declared he was just “misquoted.” He said, “Mali lang po yung pagkaintindi sa akin. Mahaba po ang explanation ko sa paliwanag kong ‘yun.” 

He later clarified that even though he is against same-sex marriage, he still cares for queer individuals. “Yung paniniwala ko po ay mananatili po ‘yun—ang aking paniniwala sa Panginoon at ang pagkakalinga sa kanila, pagtutulungan sa kanila, nandyan pa rin po yung mga LGBTQ+,” he said. 

“In fact, mas marami pong mga supporters ako ngayon ng LGBTQ+ na sumusuporta sa atin at naniniwala sa atin,” Pacquiao continued. 

On vote-buying accusations 

Other than the controversy surrounding his thoughts on same-sex marriage, the presidential aspirant has also made the rounds online for giving out money and household essentials to many Filipinos. Some claimed that this is his way of buying votes for the upcoming polls.

Pacquiao pointed out that he’s been doing the same thing even before his bid for a presidential seat in the Philippines. 

Hindi po hakot ang mga tao na sumusuporta sa atin at ‘yun pong ginagawa kong pamimigay ng ayuda, pamimigay ng pera sa taong bayan, mula pa noong 2002 pa po.

“Nagbibigay na ako bago ako pumasok sa pulitika, at pinapagpatuloy ko lang po yung ginagawa ko mula noon hanggang ngayon,” he continued, adding that he’s just making the most of the opportunities he has to help those in need. “Mina-maximize ko lang po ngayon bago po magstart ang campaign period, which is Feb. 8 na hindi po tayo mamimigay dyan dahil susunod tayo sa patakaran ng COMELEC.” 

On running for the highest position of the State with ‘little experience’ 

Having been in Philippine politics since 2010—first as a Sarangani representative, and then as a senator in 2016—Pacquiao is confident that he is ready to run for the highest position in the country. “Sa mahigit isang dekada kong pagseserbisyo sa ating gobyerno, nakita ko ang problema,” he said.

Ang laban ko na ito ay hindi laban ko lamang, kundi laban ng bawat Pilipino.

Pacquiao said his hardscrabble background will be an edge in helping Filipinos overcome poverty. “Kung paano ko inahon yung pamilya ko sa kahirapan, paano ako nagsikap, ganoon rin ang plano kong i-ahon ang ating bansa sa kahirapan, ang mga kababayan natin na naghihirap.” 

What the country needs, the senator said, is a leader and not a politician. “Ang leader, ang tinitignan ay yung kinabukasan ng ating bansa, hindi lamang eleksyon kasi sanay ako diyan dahil kinabukasan ng pamilya ko ang aking iniisip mula pa noon,” he said.

Pacquiao said he will push for free housing, free education, and better employment opportunities if elected. “Hindi lamang po mga pangako ‘yan, kundi itutuloy nalang natin ang ginagawa mula noon hanggang ngayon,” he added.