Manny and Jinkee Pacquiao

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (PNA) – Boxing icon and incumbent Sarangani Representative Emmanuel Pacquiao formalized last week his bid for a second term in Congress as he and other candidates in his party filed a complete provincial slate that surprisingly included his wife Jinkee, who is running for vice governor.

Pacquiao, who is running under the anner of the People’s Champ Movement-United Nationalist Alliance (PCM – UNA) coalition, filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) provincial office in Alabel, Sarangani at about 1:38 p.m. last Oct. 3 amid rousing cheers by local political leaders and supporters.

He was immediately followed by Sarangani Vice Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon, who filed his CoC as PCM-UNA’s candidate for governor.[box type=”default” size=”large”] Boxer’s wife files her candidacy for vice governor [/box]Pacquiao’s wife Jinkee then pulled off major surprise when she also filed her COC as Chiongbian’s running mate.

Pacquiao ally and Malapatan town Mayor Alfonso Singcoy said Jinkee’s decision to accept the offer to throw her hat into the political ring came just an hour before her husband’s schedule to file his CoC.

“The decision was arrived at around 10 a.m.,” he said.

Singcoy said outgoing Sarangani Governor Miguel Rene Dominguez called him and suggested that Jinkee should run after several mayors expressed their disagreement with an earlier decision to have businessman Juan Domino as the running mate of Vice Governor Steve Solon.

Jinkee confirmed that it was Governor Dominguez who prodded her into running for vice governor.

“I prayed hard before making this decision. But I would not have done it without the endorsement of Governor Dominguez,” she told reporters after she emerged from the Comelec provincial office.

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Jinkee, who hails from Kiamba town, Sarangani, considers herself as a perfect fit for the position, saying she would mainly complement the realization of her husband’s plans for the development of Sarangani.

“Magiging katuwang niya ako sa pagpapatuloy ng mga magagandang programa para sa aming mga kababayan dito sa Sarangani,” she said.

Pacquiao appeared elated over Jinkee’s decision to run for vice governor.

“Mas maganda yan at may katuwang ako na mas matutukan ang mga plano at projects ko para sa Sarangani,” he said.

Pacquiao, who handily won over businessman Roy Chiongbian in 2010 for the lone congressional seat of Sarangani, said his slate is running under the platform of good governance and provision of wider access to basic services for his constituents.

“Our focus will be on providing sustainable livelihood programs, wider access to health care services and education,” he said.

“With us at the helm, the people of Sarangani will be assured of clean and corrupt-free governance,” Pacquiao added.