Boxing icon and senator of the Philippines Manny Pacquiao faces the coronavirus (COVID-19) head-on as the infected cases in his home country continue to rise.
Over the weekend, Senator Pacquiao said he is willing to risk it all so that he can help those who have been severely affected by the pandemic.
The Filipino lawmaker told the Manila Bulletin that he is “not afraid to die” for his people.
According to Pacquiao, what he fears most is the potential for the poor and those “living in the streets” to resort to looting if they don’t get fed in the coming weeks.
“There will be chaos. And this is what I fear would happen,” Pacquaio said in part Tagalog.
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Pacquiao had earlier donated five buses to the Duterte government so that health workers could be ferried around Metro Manila.
Pacquiao, who has been serving as a senator of the Philippines since 2016, has recently been seen making rounds in parts of the country affected by the disease.
He said he does not intend to slow down even with the serious threats to his health as he feels it is his duty as a leader to risk his life.
“If you are a leader, you have to be a frontliner,” the 41-year-old politician was quoted as saying.
“You are a leader so you have to lead and let people see that you are with them. You can’t hide just because you are afraid to die. I grew up poor so I know what they feel.”
Pacquiao is so committed to addressing the crisis that he is willing to sideline his boxing career for now.
“Let us focus our attention on this first,” said the boxing pro, who had earlier sought to compete in a fight in July.
Pacquiao has also teamed up with Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma to donate 500,000 face masks to help the Philippine government in its fight against COVID-19, ABS-CBN
reports. He is now just waiting for the arrival of testing kits and face masks from China.