By Deighton Acuin and Archie Villaflores

PHOTO: Rappler

Former Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said Thursday Senator Manny Pacquiao lacks the competence to be the next President of the country due to his absence record in the House of Representative and in the Senate.

While Pacquiao may have a “good heart,” Carpio said the opposition coalition 1Sambayan is looking for competent leaders that can lead the Philippines in times of emergency, especially during the time of pandemics.

“As congressman, Pacquiao was the No. 1 absentee, he was the topnotcher in absences in Congress. As senator, he again topped, he was No. 1 in absences,” he said in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel.

“So that basic qualification — competence —  is not there.”

“Manny Pacquiao may have a good heart and we know that. But running a country of 110 million population requires competence. We should understand that we have to look for a leader who has competence, who can revive the economy, who can generate employment for the people, who can solve this pandemic,” Carpio said.

“We cannot have a president who is absent. When there is a task you cannot be absent,” he added.

During the launch of the coalition, Carpio said the professional boxer-turned senator was not being considered a presidential candidate because of being identified with President Rodrigo Duterte.

“He has supported the war on drugs and he has stated that in the Senate. He is also for the death penalty although he quotes the Bible. So, It will be difficult for us to consider him,” Carpio earlier said.

The group already met with potential candidates like Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, Senator Grace Poe, Senator Nancy Binay, Vice President Leni Robredo, and Former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

However, Carpio said the process of selecting candidates is ongoing and there is no official slate yet.

In response to not making it to the coalition, Pacquiao said it is not the “best time” to think of politics, and he will focus on his job instead since elections are still a long way off.

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