Philippines' boxing champion and senator Manny Pacquiao has announced his candidacy for next year’s presidential elections. Pacquiao accepted the nomination of his political allies during the national assembly of the faction he leads in the ruling PDP-Laban Party. The announcement comes just days after a rival faction nominated Duterte's long-time aide, senator Christopher "Bong" Go, as its presidential candidate.
Notably, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is a member of the same party, PDP-Laban, which has been split into two factions. One is led by Pacquiao and senator Koko Pimentel who are now running against Duterte, while the other faction is led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.
I will always be a fighter inside and outside the ring: Pacquiao
According to Forbes, Manny Pacquiao was among the world’s highest-paid athletes in 2019. In his most recent bout last month, the 42-year-old lost to Cuban figher Yordenis Ugás. During his speech, Pacquiao said that he is a fighter and he will always be a fighter inside and outside the ring.
“The time for change is now. We are ready to rise to the challenge of leadership,” Pacquiao told the assembly.
“I am accepting your support as your presidential candidate. It’s time for the oppressed to rise. It’s time for a clean government.”
"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."
Manny Pacquiao is one of the greatest boxers of all time. He is the only man to hold world titles in eight different divisions. Despite his popularity, Pacquiao trails the front-runners in opinion polls, which have been topped consistently by Duterte's daughter, Sara Duterte-Carpio.