The only boxer to have worn the belt of world champion in eight different weight categories, Manny Pacquiao is preparing to play a new fight: the presidential election of 2022 in the Philippines. The man nicknamed “Pac Man” announced on Sunday his candidacy under the colors of a dissident faction of the PDP Laban, the party of President Rodrigo Duterte, which he still recently supported. “The time has come, we are ready to take up the challenge of the presidency”, announced the famous Filipino. He made his decision a few weeks after his last professional fight, a loss on August 22 in Las Vegas to the Cuban exiled in the United States Yordenis Ugas.
“Megaprison” for corrupt
Manny Pacquiao, 42, 1.66m x 66kg (welterweight), is no newbie to politics. In 2010, he was elected deputy, before becoming a senator in 2016. He sparked controversies by his homophobic statements or in favor of the death penalty. He has long been a strong supporter of the “War on drug traffickers” launched by the current president as soon as he came to power in 2016. A policy that alerted the prosecutors of the International Criminal Court sitting in The Hague (Netherlands): they wish to investigate the alleged murder of more than 20,000 people . The Constitution does not allow for a second six-year term, but Duterte has announced his intention to run for vice-president next year, behind a candidate who could be his own daughter, Sara Duterte Carpio .
Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao’s first campaign axis: send “Hundreds or thousands” crooked politicians in a “Mega-prison” built for this purpose. Sunday in front of his supporters, he put forward his modest origins: seller of donuts in the streets, he launched at 16 in professional boxing for a purse of 1000 pesos (19 euros). The fortune amassed with his fists is now estimated at over $ 500 million. “To anyone who asks me what my skills and abilities are, have you ever suffered from hunger? did he declare. Do you know what it’s like to have nothing to eat, have to borrow money from your neighbors, or wait to collect leftovers from a restaurant? The Manny Pacquiao in front of you was shaped by poverty. ”
Evangelical preacher and philanthropist
Manny Pacquiao is also a colonel in the army, has played several basketball matches in the Philippine professional league, and has pursued careers as an actor and singer. Without forgetting his activity as an evangelical preacher. He is also admired by his compatriots for his generosity as a philanthropist during natural disasters.
Other pugilists have used their popularity for a political career, with varying degrees of success. Vitali Klitschko, world heavyweight champion, was one of the leading figures of the pro-European movement whose epicenter in 2013-2014 was Maidan Square in Kiev, the city of which he is currently the mayor. In Nicaragua, the three-time world champion Alexis Argüello was elected Sandinista (socialist) mayor of Managua, the capital, in 2014. Seven months later, he committed suicide in his office with a bullet to the heart. In Mexico, Erik Morales, nicknamed “the Terrible”, has been an MP since 2018. He has met Manny Pacquiao three times in the ring, between 2005 and 2006, the world superfeather title at stake, with the record of a victory for the Mexican and two for the Filipino.