Boxing star Manny Pacquiao said on Sunday that he will run for president of the
Philippines next year. Pacquiao accepted the nomination of his political allies during
the national assembly of the faction he leads in the ruling PDP-Laban Party. On top
of an impressive career as a fighter, Mr Pacquiao, 42, is a senator in the Philippines’
“I am a fighter, and I will always be a fighter inside and outside the ring…I
am accepting your nomination as candidate for president of the Republic
of the Philippines.” Said Boxing star Manny Pacquiao.
Philippines Incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte is barred from another term but
has been picked by a rival party faction to run for vice-president, a move critics say
is an attempt to cling to power; Duterte is prohibited by the constitution from
running for a second six-year term as president. Pacquiao’s nomination also comes
days after a rival faction nominated Duterte’s long-time aide, Senator Christopher
“Bong” Go, as its presidential candidate. Go declined the nomination.
Despite his popularity, Pacquiao trails the front-runners in opinion polls that have
been topped consistently by Duterte’s daughter, Sara Duterte-Carpio. In July,
Pacquiao was voted out as PDP-Laban leader, weeks after challenging Duterte over
his position on China and record on fighting corruption, but his ouster was rejected
by his faction. Pacquiao has stood against corruption in the government and what
he calls President Rodrigo Duterte’s self-serving relationship with China. A once a
close ally of Duterte, he says more than $200 million in pandemic aid intended for
poor families was unaccounted for, adding this was just one discovery in his
planned corruption investigation.
His anti-corruption drive comes as the Senate has also opened an investigation into
alleged overpricing of medical supplies and equipment purchased under the
government’s pandemic response programme. Duterte challenged Pacquiao to
name corrupt government offices to prove that the boxer was not just politicking
ahead of the election. Pacquiao countered by warning of jail for corrupt government
officials saying: “Your time is up!”
The rift between the Pacquiao and Duterte factions continues to grow, as the 2022
Philippine presidential and vice presidential elections scheduled to be held on
Monday, May 9, 2022, near. The 2022 election will be the 17th direct presidential
election in the Philippines since 1935 and the seventh sextennial presidential
election since 1986.