As Sen. Manny Pacquiao guns for the highest office in the land, a headline bearing his beliefs about democracy two years ago was resurfaced on a discussion website.
A Reddit user on Wednesday shared a screengrab of a news article using a quote from the now-retired boxer which reads: “Manny Pacquiao: ‘Too much democracy is bad for the Philippines.””
“Two years ago, from the very mouth of an overly-ambitious man aiming to be president and head of his own cargo cult,” the uploader said.
It has earned a 98% upvote on the “r/Philippines” subreddit as of this writing, where most of the users criticized him for his comments.
“The same democracy that put him in office, this dude has mental issues,” a Redditor commented in response to the post.
“Too much democracy is what got him elected in the first place,” another Reddit user said.
“I don’t agree but one example of too much democracy is you running for the highest position in the country,” a different user likewise wrote.
“Uh…the same democracy that made you aim for the unattainable (presidency)?” another Redditor commented in response to the lawmaker’s comment.
A news outlet in March 2019 had a one-on-one talk with Pacquiao who was leading the campaign of the ruling party PDP-Laban for the 2019 midterm elections before.
At that time, he was asked to comment on the state of democracy of the country under hardline President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Alam mo, nandiyan pa rin ‘yung democracy, under 1987 Constitution pa rin tayo. And naniniwala ako because of too much democracy kaya nagkaganito ganito. Lalong dumami ‘yung corruption, tumigas ‘yung mga tao, walang disiplina,” Pacquiao said before.
“Yun ang problema natin. Although we want democracy, too much democracy is bad for our country… Kailangan may disiplina ang tao kasi kung ano gusto ng tao, gusto nila insist nila na ‘yon masusunod, eh may government tayo na dapat ang tao sumunod sa government,” he added.
Pacquiao also said that there was a need for peace and order and that Duterte, being the president, needed to “discipline” Filipinos, just like how parents discipline their children.
“Alam mo, common sense, paano disiplinahin pamilya mo kung ‘di mo paluin mga anak mo? Paano ayusin kung ‘di pagalitan ang anak mo, pagalitan at paluin ‘pag matigas ang ulo? Ang pamilya maaayos ba na ‘di niya pagalitan o disiplinahin? So same thing eh, gusto ng Pangulo ng kapayapaan, kaunlaran, so kailangan disiplina,” he said.
Pacquiao recently retired from his storied boxing career and filed for a certificate of candidacy to run as president in the 2022 elections.
His running mate is House deputy speaker Rep. Lito Atienza (Buhay party-list).