(STAR) An unsolicited advice from Erik Morales to Manny Pacquiao: There’s no need to enter politics.

In a rare interview with scribes in a Manila hotel, the legendary Mexican boxer bared that he was once offered a seat in Congress back home, but had to decline for better reasons.

"Some people wanted me to run for Congress years back.

So, I talked to my family because it’s a good opportunity. But then I said no," said Morales, who’s in the country for a one-week visit.

Morales bared his sentiments when asked to react to Pacquiao’s decision to run for Congress for the first district of South Cotabato in the coming May 14 elections.

"I like to help people, too. But I think about how, when and where. I think of how can I help people. I know I can do things for the people. But in Congress, you need all your time there," he said.

In slow but good English, he continued.

"In Congress (in Mexico), there’s no much money. And how much money do I make in boxing? I make a lot. So I said to myself, if you want to earn less and help people, then go to Congress.

"But if you want to earn more, and help people at the same time, then stay in boxing," explained Morales, who fought Pacquiao three times and formed one of the greatest rivalries of all time.

But Morales and Pacquiao have become friends since their third showdown last November. Early this year, they even starred in the latest San Miguel Beer commercial.

"So I ask Manny, do you really want to do it? You don’t need to be a politician to help people. I think I can help more people by not entering politics," he went on.

"Erik Morales is not a politician. But he has programs for the people. I thought maybe I can help people get better jobs," he said before enumerating the programs he has for the people of Mexico.

"I help boxers, I help other athletes. I have programs in health. I am helping people in Mexico fight obesity. I make people aware of this problem, how to avoid it, how to control it.

"I have programs for the environment, on the importance of recycling. I tell people how to keep the streets clean," he said, adding that being a politician truly depends on your motive.

"Is it really for the people? Or do you only want the people to know you more? Do you really want to work to better the lives of the people? These are hard (questions) but (they’re) important.

Morales said he employs a lot of people in Mexico to help him run these programs. As much as he can, especially when he’s away from boxing, he tries to attend to everyday.

"Now I ask myself, could I have done all these if I were a congressman? You don’t need to stay inside to do all these. Outside you can do more," he added.

"Maybe next time they’ll offer you the presidency," he was asked by The STAR.

A hearty laugh was all he could offer. – Abac Cordero

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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