Boxer Manny Pacquiao, thorn in the side of Rodrigo Duterte

The mandate of Rodrigo Duterte, the President of the Philippines, will end in 2022. Elected in 2016, Duterte has particularly distinguished himself by his bloody war on drugs, causing thousands of extrajudicial executions of sellers and consumers. .

As the term of office of president is not renewable, he must now find a successor. As his party pushes him to run for vice-president, Duterte has drawn up a list of five potential co-candidates, reports Reuters. His daughter and mayor of Davao, Sara Duterte, Senators Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos and Christopher “Bong” Go, and the mayor of Manila Francisco Domagoso are among them.

The fifth person is a figure better known to the general public: Manny Pacquiao, a professional multi-world champion boxer and considered one of the best in history.

In addition to his sporting exploits, Pacquiao began a political career in 2010, being elected deputy of the province of Sarangani. The boxer is an ally of Duterte. He is a member of his party, the PDP-Laban, and has supported the president in his plan to restore the death penalty and in his war on drugs.

The athlete even led a charge against the opponent Leila de Lima, who accuses Duterte of leading a death squad when he was mayor.

Only, the sportsman has recently distanced himself from the Head of State. He notably criticized his response to China’s foray into southern Chinese lands claimed by the Philippines.

In addition to having felt that Duterte’s reaction to Chinese expansionism was “insufficientยปPacquiao got involved in the country’s international affairs by asking Joe Biden directly to facilitate shipments of the Moderna vaccine to the Philippines.

This distancing, however slight, is a problem for Duterte, because thanks to his millions and his super-star status, Pacquiao seems the only one who can lead an independent campaign against him. As Bloomberg points out, Pacquiao and Duterte are both from the south of the country. Parallel campaigns would therefore risk dividing the votes and pave the way for the opposition.

The official candidatures will have to be announced next October, and the elections will take place in May 2022.

Source: by

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