On Sunday, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, a Filipino politician and legendary boxer, officially announced his candidacy for the highest position in the Philippine government.
We need progress: During a livestreamed speech, the 42-year-old Filipino senator claimed to be a fighter both inside and outside the ring before accepting his political allies’ nomination at a national assembly, according to Reuters.
- The boxing senator echoed the same sentiment on Twitter: “We need progress. We need to win against poverty. We need government to serve our people with integrity, compassion and transparency. The time is now. I am ready to rise to the challenge of leadership.”
I boldly accept the challenge of running as PRESIDENT of the Philippines. We need progress. We need to win against poverty. We need government to serve our people with integrity, compassion and transparency. The time is now. I am ready to rise to the challenge of leadership. 🇵🇭 pic.twitter.com/suN1zFTxyW
— Manny Pacquiao (@MannyPacquiao) September 19, 2021
- Pacquiao was ousted as the PDP-Laban Party’s president weeks after going up against President Rodrigo Duterte over his position on the West Philippines Sea issue with China in July, Rappler reported.
- Once an ally of Duterte, the senator launched an anti-corruption investigation against the current government’s handling of COVID-19 pandemic aid.
Tension within the party: Pacquiao’s announcement brewed tension within the PDP-Laban Party. Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, the party’s president, called Pacquiao’s nomination “illegal,” explaining that the faction, led by Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, is considered illegitimate, Inquirer reported.
- PDP-Laban nominated Senator Bong Go as president and Duterte as vice president at a national assembly on July 8. Secretary-General Melvin Matibag said Go and Duterte are the only candidates the party considered legitimate to run in the 2022 election.
- “Since he has other parties, maybe he can just use those because here in PDP-Laban, he does not have the support of the majority,” Matibag said of Pacquiao’s candidacy.
- The Cusi-led faction asked the Commission of Election (COMELEC) for a temporary restraining order to stop Pacquiao and his political allies from committing acts that would “run against the constitution of PDP-Laban and usurp the authority of the legitimate officials of the ruling party.”
Political achievements: Pacquiao reportedly passed 25 bills out of the 60+ laws he authored since he took office as a representative in Sanragani province from 2010 to 2016. He has been a senator since 2016, Rappler’s Fact Check reported.
- The bills Pacquiao passed include the Handbook for OFWs Act of 2018 (Republic Act No. 11227), Free Internet Access Program Read (RA No. 10929) and An Act Increasing the Monthly Old-Age Pension of Senior Veterans (RA No. 11164).
Featured Image via @mannypacquiao