VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Pacquiao shifts from ‘worse than animals’ to not condemning LGBTQ

From declaring in 2016 that people in same-sex marriage are worse than animals, Sen. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao now insists he is neither condemning nor judging the members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) community.


In a vlog interview with Celestine “Toni” Gonzaga-Soriano uploaded on Sept. 19, Pacquiao — who had announced his presidential bid in the 2022 national elections on the same day — was asked about his controversial remarks about the LGBTQ in 2016. He answered:

Na-edit kasi masyado ‘yung statement kong ‘yon. Ang sinasabi ko palagi na hindi ko kino-condemn ‘yung mga gay, mga LGBT. May mga pamangkin akong LGBT. Ang dami kong mga LGBT na workers sa bahay ko, kahit ‘yung mga kapatid ko. As a person, hindi mo sasabihing galit ka sa kanya, kinukundena mo siya. Who am I to judge a person, ‘di ba?

(My statement was heavily edited. What I always say is I never condemned the gay people, and the LGBT. I have nieces and nephews who are part of the LGBT. I also have a lot of workers at home who are LGBT, the same goes with my siblings’ households. As a person, you don’t say that you’re angry at them, that you condemn them. Who am I to judge a person, right?)”

Source: Toni Gonzaga Studio, Why Manny Pacquiao Is Running For President | Toni Talks, Sept. 19, 2021, watch from 8:58 to 9:34

Pacquiao insinuated that his “long” statement was spliced and taken out of context.


While he did say in 2016 that he was not condemning gays and lesbians, Pacquiao also declared that same-sex marriage is a “sin against God” and those who go into it are “worse than animals.”

Pacquiao, then a congressman representing Sarangani province, was heavily criticized for his stance on same-sex marriage after his 29-second clip interview was uploaded on the Bilang Pilipino Faceboook (FB) page of TV5 as part of the news organization’s coverage of the senatorial aspirants.

This is Pacquiao’s answer to the interview in full, based on a video news clip from TV5:

“As [a] Christian, bawal naman ‘yung same-sex marriage. Ginawa ang babae para sa lalaki, ginawa ang lalaki para sa babae. Kasi para sa akin ito lang, common sense lang. Makakita ka ba ng any animals na lalaki sa lalaki o babae sa babae? Mas mabuti pa ‘yung hayop, marunong kumikilala kung lalaki o lalaki, [kung] babae, babae. O ‘di ba? Ngayon kung lalaki sa lalaki o babae sa babae eh mas masahol pa sa hayop ang tao. Ang hayop lang, hindi talaga pwedeng magsama ang lalake sa lalake. Pero I’m not condemning them. ‘Yung marriage lang, ‘yung committing sin against God.

(As a Christian, same-sex marriage is really forbidden. A woman was made only for a man, and a man was made for a woman. For me, it’s common sense. Do you know any species of animals that engage in male to male or female to female relations? Animals are better than humans in discerning males from females. Now, if people engage in same sex relationships, then they are worse than animals. Animals can’t really have male-to-male relations. But I’m not condemning them [LGBT]. Only their marriage, the mere act of committing sin against God.)”


Subsequently, Pacquiao apologized for “hurting people” when he compared homosexuals to animals. However, he stood firm on his belief that he is against same-sex marriage.

A few days later, TV5 issued a statement on Feb. 21, 2016 after a one-minute video that included Pacquiao’s clarification about the LGBT had gone viral.

Contrary to Pacquiao’s claim, same-sex sexual behavior happens in the animal kingdom.



Manny Pacquiao Official Facebook page, PDP-Laban 11th National Assembly, Sept. 19, 2021

Toni Gonzaga Studio YouTube, Why Manny Pacquiao Is Running For President | Toni Talks, Sept. 19, 2021, Pacquiao compares gays to animals, draws flak on social media, Feb. 16, 2016

BBC News, Manny Pacquiao renews criticism of homosexuality, Feb. 19, 2016

The Guardian, Manny Pacquiao provokes storm by calling gay people ‘worse than animals’, Feb. 16, 2016

Bilang Pilipino Facebook page, “Mas masahol pa sa hayop.” Senatorial aspirant and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao had this to say when we asked him for his stand on same-sex marriage. #BilangPilipino, Feb. 15, 2016

News5Everywhere YouTube, PACMAN, binabatikos sa pahayag tungkol sa same-sex marriage, Feb. 16, 2016

Manny Pacquiao Official Facebook page, I’m sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals. Please forgive me for those I’ve hurt. I still stand on my belief that I’m against same sex marriage … , Feb. 16, 2016

Manny Pacquiao Official Instagram, I rather obey the Lord’s command than obeying the desires of the flesh … , Feb. 16, 2016

TV5 Corporate PR Twitter, TV5’s official statement re controversial video of Manny Pacquiao, Feb. 21, 2016

GMA News Online, TV5: Pacquiao video clip ‘minimally edited in good faith’, Feb. 22, 2016, TV5: Pacquiao video ‘minimally edited in good faith’, Feb. 21, 2016

Philstar, Media hit after Pacquiao’s complete same-sex marriage comment turns viral, Feb. 19, 2016

Sarah M. Lane, Alice E. Haughan, Daniel Evans (2016), Same-sex sexual behaviour as a dominance display, Animal Behaviour Volume 114, pg. 113-118, Retrieved on Sept. 22, 2021

Popular Science, Why do some animals engage in same-sex sexual behavior? The better question is… why not?, Dec. 2, 2019

National Geographic, Homosexual Activity Among Animals Stirs Debate, July 23, 2004


(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)

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