Boxing star Manny Pacquiao to run for Philippines presidency

Manny Pacquiao. Photo: Reuters
Manny Pacquiao. Photo: Reuters
Boxing star Manny Pacquiao says he will run for president of the Philippines next year, after railing against corruption in government and what he calls President Rodrigo Duterte's cozy relationship with China.

Pacquiao accepted the nomination of his political allies during the national assembly of the faction he leads in the ruling PDP-Laban Party, days after a rival faction nominated Duterte's long-time aide, Senator Christopher "Bong" Go, as its presidential candidate.

That faction nominated Duterte for vice president, a move that critics called a cynical ploy by Duterte to retain power.

Go declined the nomination, but the rift between the Pacquiao and Duterte factions has escalated.

"I am a fighter, and I will always be a fighter inside and outside the ring," Pacquiao (42), a senator, said in a live-streamed speech during the assembly. "I am accepting your nomination as candidate for president of the Republic of the Philippines."

Pacquiao's faction has not expressed support for Duterte's vice-presidential bid. Duterte is prohibited by the constitution from running for a second six-year term as president.

One of the greatest boxers of all time and the only man to hold world titles in eight different divisions, Pacquiao was mum about his 26-year professional career.

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, once a close ally of Duterte, had said more than 10 billion pesos ($US200 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 crusade comes as the Senate has 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: "Your time is up!

Add a Comment

 

suv-updated-banner_1.jpg

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter