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Yordenis Ugás v Manny Pacquiao - News Conference

Source: Steve Marcus / Getty

Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao has been an inspiration to the people of the Philippines. He rose from poverty after living on the streets of Manila at 14 years old to eventually become one of the greatest pro boxers of all time. Then, Pacquiao was elected to the Congress of the Philippines, first as a member of the House of Representatives in 2010 and then as a senator six years later.

Now, at 42 years old, Pac Man is pushing further to rep for his country and take on corruption with a run at the highest office in the land. He made the announcement in a live-streamed speech during yesterday’s National Assembly of the PDP-Laban Party.

“I am a fighter, and I will always be a fighter inside and outside the ring,” said the semi-retired boxing champ and current senator. Pacquiao’s peers nominated him to challenge a rival faction led by former friend and current president Rodrigo Duterte. “I am accepting your nomination as candidate for president of the Republic of the Philippines,” Pacquiao confirmed.

In July, Pacquiao openly questioned Duterte’s management of funds that were allocated for helping the poor during the pandemic. More than 10 billion pesos ($200 million USD) had allegedly vanished, and Pac Man said this incident was only the latest episode of corruption during Duterte’s reign. Other questionable circumstances surrounding the current president include the nature of his growing alliance with China and the thousands of Filipinos killed in his purported “war on drugs.”

The senator said he planned to open an investigation on his former friend, and the president then dared Pacquiao to name anyone whom he thought was corrupt. He also accused Pacquiao of politicking ahead of the country’s May 2022 elections.

On August 24, Duterte was nominated by his own faction as their vice-presidential candidate since the country’s constitution does not allow consecutive presidential terms, and he accepted. Legal experts consider the maneuver ridiculous, but he will not back down.

“If they insist on trying me on the basis of that wrong statute which we appended illegally because there was no publication,” said Duterte, “I would go to the Constitution which says that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, so I will transfer that phrase in my case – I was deprived of a due process.”

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