Manny Pacquiao to run for President after boxing retirement

Sarangani representative and boxing icon Manny Pacquiao has hinted that he will run for Philippine president after boxing retirement.

Manny Pacquiao with President Aquino

According to ABS-CBN News, Pacquiao confirmed with international news organization Agence France Presse that he mulled seeking presidency “when he finally hangs up his gloves.”

“When I started boxing, of course I was planning, you know, and thinking about getting to become a champion. So when I enter politics it’s the same thing,” the former eight-division world champ reportedly said. “But, you know, it’s far away. It’s God’s will.”

MalacaƱang reacted to Pacquiao’s plan. Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda reportedly said the 34-year-old boxer is free to run, but has to meet the minimum age requirement to qualify as presidential candidate.

A Filipino citizen must be at least 40 years old in order to serve as president, as mandated under Article 7, Section 2 of the Philippine Constitution. Pacquiao was born on December 17, 1978 and will be 43 years old during the national elections in 2022.

“Kung sa damdamin ni Ginoong Pacquiao e karapat-dapat siyang tumakbo, nasa kanya po ‘yun. Kung gusto niyang sumabak sa pagkapangulo, nasa kanya po ‘yun,” Lacierda said during a press briefing. “We cannot stop anyone from wanting to fulfill their ambition.”

Meanwhile, house speaker Sonny Belmonte advised the fighting congressman to run for senator first before joining a presidential race.

Manny Pacquiao plans of running for president one day. But, before everything else, he needs to concentrate on training to prepare for his bout with Mexican-American boxer Brandon Rios at the Venetian Resort Hotel in Macau, China on November 24.