Boxer Manny Pacquiao to run for Philippine president in 2022 By Reuters
MANILA (Reuters) -Boxing star Manny Pacquiao said on Sunday 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 https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/philippine-senator-first-declare-2022-run-presidency-2021-09-08, as its presidential candidate.
This faction elected Duterte as vice-president, which critics called a clever ploy to keep power.
Go turned down the nomination but tensions between Duterte and Pacquiao factions have escalated.
Pacquiao, 42 years old, was a senator and said during a livestreamed speech at the assembly, “I am fighter.” “I accept your nomination for the presidency of the Republic of the Philippines.
Pacquiao’s party has not supported Duterte as vice-presidential candidate. The constitution prohibits Duterte from seeking a second term of six years as president.
Pacquiao, one of the most respected boxers ever and the only person to have held world championships in 8 different divisions of boxing, was quiet about 26 years of his professional career.
Despite his popularity, Pacquiao trails the front-runners in opinion polls that have been topped consistently by Duterte’s daughter https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/duterte-daughter-seek-re-election-mayor-despite-calls-presidency-run-2021-09-16, Sara Duterte-Carpio.
In July, Pacquiao was voted out https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/philippines-pacquiao-ousted-president-ruling-party-after-row-2021-07-17 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 ($200 million) in pandemic aid intended for poor families was unaccounted for, adding this was just one discovery in his planned corruption investigation https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/boxer-pacquiao-backs-corruption-claims-with-missing-public-funds-allegation-2021-07-03.
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’s name to identify corrupt government offices in order to demonstrate that Pacquiao wasn’t just political politicking before the election.
Pacquiao retorted by warning that corrupt officials could be sent to jail.
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