By Anthony Pagapulaan


Buhay Party-list Representative and House Deputy Speaker Lito Atienza joins Probinsya Muna Development Initiative (PROMDI) presidential bet Senator Manny Pacquiao as vice presidential tandem.

Pacquiao and Atienza concurrently filed their Certificates of Candidacy (COC) on the first day of the filing at the Sofitel tent in Pasay City.

When Pacquiao was asked why he chose Atienza, he said the congressman has served as a public servant for long enough.

"I picked Cong. Atienza because first of all, he has served the Filipino public for more than 50 years," Pacquiao said in Filipino.

Pacquiao also added that Atienza has possessed "sincerity and expertise" while having a "desire to help."

For Atienza, he believed that the world boxing icon-turned-legislator's story of rags to riches will inspire the senator "to change the lives of Filipinos." 

"I believe that Manny Pacquiao is the only one who can change the lives of Filipinos. If he was able to rise out of poverty, he would do the same to change our situation," Atienza said.

Atienza looked back in his younger years saying "poverty is widespread" and it became worse through many administrations that have occupied and vacated Malacañang.

"Manny Pacquiao was born poor, but I saw his hard work and his determination," he said.

PROMDI is a party based in Cebu founded by former Cebu Governor Lito Osmeña in June.

Atienza, 62, was Manila City mayor before becoming the representative of Buhay Party-list.

Report source: ABS-CBN News