MANNY PACQUIAO

PACQUIAO JOINING BINAY?

Boxing champ and Sarangani Representative Manny Pacquiao is set to join Vice President Jejomar Binay’s party, Senator Aquilino Pimentel III said Friday.

In a text message to Yahoo! Southeast Asia, Pimentel said that except for a “few formalities,” Pacquiao’s inclusion in the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban) is a done deal.

Pimentel is party president while Binay is chairman.

“He has not yet taken his oath, but there has been a meeting of the minds,” Pimentel said.

According to a television report on ABS-CBN Thursday night, Pacquiao said he was ready to join PDP-Laban. He said he was waiting for the “go signal” from the party.

Binay has also previously said that Pacquiao was interested in joining the party.

Pacquiao, a first-time congressman, announced in March that he will be running for governor of Sarangani Province in the 2013 elections. He said he felt he is better suited to serve in the executive branch than in Congress.

Pacquiao allied himself with Senator Manuel Villar Jr’s Nacionalista Party in the 2010 elections. After he won, he indicated interest in joining the administration Liberal Party.

The Liberal Party told Yahoo! Southeast Asia, however, that Pacquiao is not a member “according to official records.”

Pacquiao, who was in Davao City for the Mindanao Power Summit, was unavailable for comment.

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