On September 19, Manny Pacquiao, one of the greatest boxers of all time, announced that he is running for president of the Philippines after he accepted the nomination from the PDP-Laban party. Following this decision, he then announced his retirement from boxing on September 28. His decision to run for president was not a surprise to many, as he was already heavily involved in Philippine politics. In fact, he started his political career as a member of the House of Representatives in 2010, and later moved on to become a senator in 2016.
So far only two others besides Pacquiao have announced their intention to run for president. These contenders include Manilla Mayor Francisco Domagoso and ex-police chief Panfilo Lacson. However, many Filipinos are paying close attention to Sara Duterte-Carpio, who is the daughter of the current president, President Rodrigo Duterte.
Duterte-Carpio has already ruled out running for president, but that has not convinced many as she is still the most popular presidential prospect according to polls taken this year. Her father has led a brutal campaign against drugs in the Philippines, and analytics have led many to believe that a loyalist, like herself, must be elected president in order to protect her father from potential legal action regarding the thousands killed as a result of his anti-drug campaign.
This is where Pacquiao, a vocal opponent of Duterte, steps in. He has accused Duterte of worsening corruption in the Philippines, and has vowed that any politicians that are guilty of corruption will be sent to jail under his presidency.
Skeptics, and critics, of Pacquiao have stated that they question whether he is qualified to run the Philippines. When asked about his qualifications, students at Ridgewood High School said that they were uneducated about Pacquiao’s political career. But, many of them said that they are fans of him as a person and athlete, and wish him success in his run for presidency.
Josh Pleeter, a senior at RHS, was said, “I consider myself a fan of Manny Pacquiao when it comes to boxing, but I don’t really know anything about his politics. I know the Philippines has been struggling recently, and I’m hoping that Pacquiao can make a difference for them.”
When more students were asked for their thoughts on the matter, they gave similar responses to the one given by Josh. Many of them said that they were rooting for him, even though they aren’t quite sure of the current political situation in the Philippines. However, his stance on anti-corruption gained him more supporters.
Pacquiao certainly has his fair share of supporters, and it will be interesting to watch what unfolds in the upcoming elections, especially as he is one of the best boxers in history.
Sean Hughes (staff writer)
Graphic: Jiah Lee