In a development that caught everybody by surprise, including a friend of Rep. Manny Pacquiao who was all set to run for vice governor, Jinky Pacquiao came out of the blue and stunned even her mother in law by agreeing to file her certificate of candidacy for the vice-governor of Sarangani.
The decision to accept the offer to throw her hat into politics came just an hour before her husband’s schedule to file his own certificate of candidacy (COC).
“The decision was arrived at at 10am,” Malapatan mayor Alfonso Singcoy.
Singcoy said Sarangani Gov. Miguel Rene Dominguez called him and suggested that Jinky instead should run after several mayors expressed their disagreement over earlier decision to have Juan Domino as the running mate of Vice Gov. Steve Solon.
Pacquiao also confirmed it was Dominguez who was behind Jinky’s surprise candidacy.
The decision of Jinky to run broke the impasse between warring politicians inside Pacquiao’s camp.
Domino was nowhere the Commission on Election office at the provincial capitol compound in Sarnagani when the Pacquiao couple arrived to file their COCs at around 1.20.m. He was seen by reporters emerging from a hurried meeting with Pacquiao in the latter’s residence obviously disappointed.
Domino earlier eased out Provincial Board Member Eugene Alzate who was also picked by Pacquiao to run for vice governor.
One incumbent mayor in Sarangani said Domino’s overbearing ways got the better of him.
“He played in the game of generals,” the mayor, who requested anonymity, was overheard saying.
Pacquiao is seeking re-election after winning handily over Roy Chiongbian in 2010 for the lone congressional seat of Sarangani.
Dominguez is serving out the last of his three 3-year consecutive terms and was prodded by Pacquiao to run for vice governor.
Dominguez however declined saying he is not cut for legislative work and would prefer an executive post.
The governor said he will take a break from politics although he also told ABS-CBN Socsksargen that he may be “retiring but not expiring.” He said he will help run the businesses of his wife and tend to their one-year old daughter Mariana.
Pacquiao is believed to be just biding his time and will run for Senator in 2016 when he becomes eligible.
Pacquiao will turn 34 in December. A candidate for senator must be 35 years on election day under Philippine election laws.
Jinky’s mother in law Dionisia Pacquiao said the wife of her son should brace herself for life in politics.
“Dili na jud siya puede hiya-hiya (She should no longer be shy in public),” Dionisia.
Jinky, a former Jamora, hails from Kiamba town in Sarangani.
She was a sales promo of cosmetic products in a department store in General Santos City when Jinky met the then struggling boxer.