Boxing starannounced on Sunday that he's running for president of the Philippines in the 2022 election.
The 42-year-old, who is currently a senator in the Asian nation, said he accepted the nomination of his faction of the PDP-Laban political party at its national convention over the weekend. As Philippine President's six-year term ends, Pacquiao pledged to campaign on fighting poverty and corruption.
"I am a fighter, and I will always be a fighter inside and outside the ring," he said in a speech.
But Pacquiao, who won world titles in eight different weight divisions and is one of the greatest boxers of all time, is in for a big fight. He's trailing in the polls, with Duterte's daughter, Sara Duterte, the mayor of Davao City, considered a frontrunner in the race. And Duterte himself, who is term-limited, may seek to maintain influence by running for vice president on another ticket.
"I boldly accept the challenge of running as PRESIDENT of the Philippines," he tweeted. "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."
In July, Pacquiao, who was once a Duterte supporter, said he found more than 10 billion pesos ($200 million) in pandemic aid for poor Filipino families was unaccounted for as part of his corruption probe, drawing strife from the president. After launching his candidacy, Pacquiao told television host Toni Gonzaga, "those who stole from the government should be imprisoned."
Duterte cannot seek a second six-year term under the country's constitution. As president, he has been known for hisagainst illegal drugs and is accused of presiding over by police while attempting to and .
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