Sen. Manny Pacquiao on Thursday said he would continue to seek the presidency in 2022, after he met with President Rodrigo Duterte for the first time since they started feuding in June.

“Walang atrasan. Tuloy ang laban. The meeting with the president was arranged by common friends. It wasn’t a political meeting but it provided us an opportunity to talk about our shared vision for Mindanao,” Pacquiao said in a statement.

“Hindi nagbabago ang paninindigan ko sa pagtakbo bilang pangulo. Ipakulong ang mga kawatan at iangat ang buhay ng mga mahihirap nating kababayan. Hindi ako trapo mag-isip. Ang panalo ko ang magpapanalo sa buhay ng bawat Pilipino,” he added.

In a separate statement, Palace spokesman Harry Roque said the meeting between the two PDP-Laban stalwarts was organized by Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go.

“There was no talk of politics but a renewal of friendship. More importantly, it was a meeting between two national leaders from Mindanao, who discussed certain matters related to people’s concern in their area, specifically in the infrastructure and power industry,” Roque said.

The PDP-Laban faction of Pacquiao in July expelled Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and two others from the ruling party for allegedly backing members of another political party.

But Cusi, with the support of President Rodrigo Duterte, has continued contending with Pacquiao for control over PDP-Laban, leading to the divide within the party.

The Commission on Elections is expected to decide on the validity of the two PDP-Laban factions in December. John Ezekiel J. Hirro