Manny Pacquiao

The Political Life of Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao
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In the 21st century, who doesn’t know the one of the greatest living boxers in Manny Pacquiao? Pacquiao is the only eight-division world champion in the history of boxing, and has won 12 major world titles.

He is also the first boxer to win the lineal championship in five different weight classes, and the only boxer to hold world championships across four decades. A Thai sports betting website (or maxbet in Thai) used to credit him as the greatest boxer of the 21st century.

Perhaps lesser known to all, Manny Pacquiao is also a politician. He is currently serving as a Senator of the Philippines. 

House of Representatives

Pacquiao first started his political career as a candidate of the Liberal Party faction under Manila mayor Lito Atienza in February 2007. Later he was forced to contest under the pro-Arroyo Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (KAMPI) by the courts. He lost the election.

He later enrolled in the Certificate Course in Development, Legislation, and Governance at the Development Academy of the Philippines. On November 2009, he contested again for a congressional seat at Sarangani province. He won the election and entered the House of Representatives in May 2010. He was re-elected to the Congress of Philippines in 2013. 

Senate

Manny Pacquiao officially stated in October 2015 that he was campaigning as a candidate for the position of senator, and won in May 2016.

Senate’s Top Absentee

Due to his commitment to boxing, the elected Senator Manny Pacquiao posted the worst attendance record.

”Out of 61 plenary sessions from July 23, 2018 to June 4, 2019, Pacquiao attended 49 times, incurring 12 absences, said the Senate Public Relations and Information Bureau (PRIB).” (source: rappler.com)

He has the highest record of absences only after Senator Leila de Lima, who is in detention. Ironically, Manny Pacquiao also had involved in Senator Leila de Lima’s detention, as he had publicly accused Leila de Lima was associated with drug trade.   

Death Penalty

Manny Pacquiao is a proponent of the death penalty. Death penalty in the Philippines was suspended in 2006, but Manny Pacquiao is a firm believer that his country needs capital punishment to deter drug dealings. 

Same Sex Marriage

The renowned boxer is also against same-sex marriage. He was quoted as saying that, “Do you see animals mating with the same sex? Animals are better because they can distinguish male from female. If men mate with men and women mate with women they are worse than animals.”

His public statements had angered the LGBT community. In response, Nike ended its financial dealings with Pacquiao

Affiliation with Rodrigo Duterte

Perhaps the most controversial of all is his association with Rodrigo Duterte, the current President of the Philippines. While he is adored by most Philippines, the western world abhor Rodrigo Duterte as he is often portrayed as a tyrant. Duterte is known to show vocal support for the extrajudicial killing of drug users, drug dealers and other criminals.

Human rights groups accused Duterte of 1,400 extrajudical killings via Davao Death Squad, an armed group allegedly authorized by Duterte. The faction also stated most of the victims were mainly drug users, petty criminals and street children. 

Duterte at times have alternate between admittance and denial of his involvement in extrajudical killings. Duterte, however, is adamant of combating drug activities in Philippines, or “war on drug” as referred by himself. Manny Pacquiao has been publicly supporting his president, leading to different opinions upon himself by the public and the western world.

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Adoration of the Philippines

In spite of Manny’s conservative political views and affiliation triggering an uproar from his supporters and detractors, many Philippines are able to put aside the politics and still worship Manny as a boxing idol.

They view him as a national hero for standing in the rings of the western world and bested the westerners, something most could only dream of especially for the poor and underprivileged.     

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