PRESIDENTIAL candidate and incumbent Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquaio said he will take his anti-corruption drive to the Office of the President in case he will win in the coming May polls.

Pacquaio, who was in Negros Occidental and Bacolod City yesterday, April 1, said that his reason for running is really to take care of the welfare of the poor, improve their economic well-being and not to enrich himself in power.

He explained that his visit in the province and its capital city is not to press for the support of the incumbent officials although he stressed that he will value those who will support his bid.

"I will consider it as a debt of gratitude and I will never forget it," the senator said.

Saying that he does not want his anti-corruption stance be compromised, the boxer turned politician reiterated that he is respecting the freedom of choice of the incumbent officials in Negros Occidental and Bacolod City if they have already their choice for the presidency.

Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia is a close friend of Pacquiao and is the godfather of two of his children.

But Pacquiao, who is an adopted son of Bacolod, did not meet Leonardia during his visit in the city.

Asked why he has no scheduled meeting with Leonardia, Pacquiao said that he is not privy as to the planning of his scheduled activities in the city.

He arrived in the city along with his wife, Jinkee, and was welcomed by his campaigner, former Bacolod Mayor Monico Puentecella and son former councilor Claudio Jesus Raymundo "Kalaw" Puentevella at the Bacolod-Silay Airport in Silay City.

Pacquiao proceeded to the Silay City Government to pay a courtesy visit to Mayor Mark Andrew Golez and spoke before his supporters on the balcony of the city hall.

He also went to the Provincial Capitol to pay a courtesy visit to Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson who likewise joined him with Provincial Administrator Atty. Reyfrando Diaz II in a lunch at the Nature's Village Resort in Talisay City.

Pacquaio, meanwhile, reminded the people to vote wisely, especially for the position of president.

He said that he is only answerable to God and he will run after those who are corrupt in government, adding that, "I want God to tell me in my time that son, it's well done my faithful servant."

If given the chance to be the next president, Pacquiao wants to allocate P400 billion for housing for the homeless Filipinos.

During his press conference, the senator received a thick request for housing from Bacolodnons and Negrenses.

Pacquiao emphasized that he wants to take care of the poor to enjoy the services of the government as they are the sector that was left out with opportunities.

“I will help improve their economic well-being,” he assured.

Before leaving, he also visited the three public markets in Bacolod City.*