A faction of the Philippines’ ruling political party on Sunday nominated boxing star Manny Pacquiao as the party’s presidential candidate for the 2022 election.
Pacquiao, currently a senator, was nominated by his PDP-Laban Party allies during the group’s national assembly, days after a rival faction nominated President Rodrigo Duterte as its choice for vice president.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday accepted his party’s nomination to run for vice president in next year’s election, forging ahead with a plan criticised by rivals as a cynical move to maintain his political power.
The boxing champ-turned-politician accepted the nomination and said he will be running on an anti-corruption platform. Pacquiao also promised clean governance and better welfare for citizens.
“I accept your nomination as the candidate for president of the Republic of the Philippines. It is now the time for the oppressed to win. It is now the time for our nation to rise from poverty. It is time for a clean government where every centavo goes to Filipinos.” Pacquiao said in his acceptance speech on Sunday.
“We are ready to rise to the challenge of leadership,” he said.
The faction led by Pacquiao held its national assembly on Sunday, where party members nominated him as the standard-bearer.
Members of their PDP-Laban faction also agreed to give Pacquiao the authority to choose his running mate, as well as his Senate slate.
Pacquiao is the second politician to officially confirm his intention to run for the presidency. His colleague at the Senate, Senator Panfilo Lacson, was the first to launch his campaign.
The warring factions of PDP-Laban would still have to wait for the decision of the Commission on Elections as to which camp will be recognized for the 2022 elections.
In a Pulse Asia survey conducted in June, Pacquiao ranked 5th among preferred presidential candidates for the 2022 elections. He was far behind top choices Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno.