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29th Sep 2021

President isn’t a title Manny Pacquiao should ever win

Danny Jones

Manny Pacquiao announced his retirement from boxing to focus on politics, but the ‘people’s champ’ running for President is controversial, to say the least

Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao announced his official retirement from the sport on Wednesday, hanging up his gloves after 26 years with 12 world titles in an unmatched eight different divisions.

‘PacMan’, 42, has been competing as a professional boxer since 1995 but as time has gone on, the household sporting name and Filipino hero has shifted his focus from pugilism to politics, becoming a senator in 2016 and now wants to become the President of the Philippines.

Manny Pacquiao retires

While many see his rise to fame as an empowering ‘rags to riches‘ tale, it’s hard to ignore the fighter’s many offensive attitudes and opinions.

Here are a few that should put his political career on the ropes.

Aside from his own admission that he sexually assaulted his housemaid, Duterte is most notably accused of directly killing around 4,000 drug suspects via his ‘death squads’. It is estimated that his war on drugs has led to around 12,000 deaths in total. Pacquiao and Duterte have fallen out in recent months, with Pacquiao being ousted from the ruling party in July, but the fighter’s ties with Duterte will be a lingering concern for many.

Like, Duterte, Pacquiao thinks those mixed-up with drugs should get the death penalty

Despite the fact Pacquiao admitted to using various drugs including cocaine and methamphetamine “for years”, he is very much against other people doing the same. In 2017, Pacquiao advocated the need to reimpose the death penalty in drugs cases. The comments were regarding drug traffickers, specifically, but he did suggest capital punishment should be brought back in for all drug-related cases, once again citing his faith by adding: “Even Jesus Christ was sentenced to death”.

And kids should be treated as criminals

Following on from his comments regarding capital punishment and drug traffickers, Pacquiao – who famously grew up on the streets of Kibawe – suggested that the age of criminal responsibility should be lowered to 12 years old.

For added context, under his recommendation, anyone under the age of 12 could not only face time in prison but, depending on the severity of their crime (especially if drug-related), could even face the death penalty.

Pacquiao may well be a sporting hero and a national icon, but he earned that – one fight at a time.

In politics, he must do the same.

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