Boxer-turned-senator Manny Pacquiao affirmed his opposition against marriage equality, even if he is now tweaking his message as a president-wannabe by saying he loves members of the LGBTQIA community for being “smart, hardworking and resourceful.”
“Love ko po sila, hindi ko sila kinukundena. Yung faith ko sa Panginoon ay nandiyan; kung ano man ang paniniwala ko, yun ang paniniwala ko, pero hindi ibig sabihin ayaw ko ng LGBT,” Pacquiao said in an interview with One News PH.
In 2016, the retired boxing champion – who was then running for senator – said that that couples in same-sex relationships were “masahol pa sa hayop (worse than animals).” He lost endorsement contract – such as with sports equipment giant Nike – because of this, making him apologize for the remark, even if he remained firm on his position that marriage equality should not be legalized in the Philippines.
If elected president, Pacquiao added that he will help fight discrimination against the LGBTQIA community. “As human, siguro hindi tayo pwedeng mag-discriminate o mag-condemn; dahil who are we to condemn them? Ang mahalaga nagkakaisa tayo at nagmamahalan,” he was quoted as saying.
Pacquiao, however, did not present any plans on how he will help deal with anti-LGBTQIA hate.