The eight-division world champion and Philippine Senator Manny Pacquiao announced his retirement from boxing following his presidential bid for the 2022 elections.
However, members of the LGBTQIA+ community still remember his remark from his 2016 interview about same-sex marriage wherein he said those infamous words, “Masahol pa sa hayop.”
Now that he’s running for the highest position in the Philippine Government, Pacquiao suddenly changed his tune, noting that he has relatives who are LGBTQIA+. He recently said in his statement, “Who am I to judge a person?”
Netizens reacted to his change of stance about the LGBTQIA+ community via social media.
Most of them urged the public not to forget Pacquiao’s remarks about LGBTQIA+ people.
Sharing this again so we won't forget
Manny Pacquiao's "Masahol Pa Sa Hayop" with Beki subtitle pic.twitter.com/6DU8LJm2Zu
— Niccolò #KeriKoSiLeni 💪 (@niccolocosme) September 21, 2021
let's not forget that manny pacquiao sees the members of the LGBTQIA+ community as "masahol pa sa hayop".
pacquiao, no. not today. not in 2022. not ever.
— shie • luna (@metabvco) September 19, 2021
unless Manny Pacquiao pays the national debt with his own money AND changes his stance re LGBTQ+ people being "masahol pa sa hayop", I will not blacken his circle
— i sus ella (@IsselaSantina) September 19, 2021
Sabi mo diba masahol pa kami sa hayop? Why would we settle for someone who doesn't even respect his people?
— Uno (@apox_uno) September 19, 2021
— linds_2590 (@Linds2590) September 20, 2021
Comedian John Lapus also trended on social media after he reminded the public about his 2016 remark.
Mga bakla! Wag kalimutan, sinabihan tayo nyan ng "Masahol pa sa Hayop". 💪🙌🌈
— John Lapus (@KorekKaJohn) September 19, 2021
Some also criticized the sudden change of his position following his announcement of candidacy.
Change opinion abt LGBTQIA+ pero after elections, babalik lang din sa dating view na "masahol pa sa hayop". Kwento mo sa pagong sa palasyo, @MannyPacquiao.
— jaun (taylor's version) (@jymrbnty) September 21, 2021
Others also pointed out his other stances on social issues such as the death penalty.
Aba… if ganun, pwede na din ako mag presidente. 🤔
Tandaan, this guy was pro death penalty though sinsabi nyang pro life sha. Same time that he called members of the LGBTQ+ na masahol pa sa hayop. Where’s the empathy there? Where’s the leadership? NADA!
— Sumshine (@sumshine013) September 20, 2021
Manny Pacquiao, a man who has the most absences in the PH Senate and who once called LGBTQIA+ "mas masahol pa sa mga hayop", is officially running for President in 2022.
Make smart choices,folks. this man was an enabler of this administration until recently (election season).
— k4rlito (@k4rlito_) September 19, 2021
It is a well-known political strategy to try and appeal to a demographic with a loud voice and huge numbers. One of these groups of people that politicians usually try and persuade come election season is the LGBTQIA+ community.
In 2015, President Rodrigo Duterte had a similar strategy during his campaign wherein he proclaimed his support for same-sex marriage. However, once the elections were over, his stance on the advocacy of marriage quality kept changing.
Does this mean that Pacquaio’s sudden change of social belief mirrors President Duterte’s political strategy in 2016? And if he wins, would he have the same unreliable stance on social issues?