Philippines election: Manny Pacquiao says he will jail former allies if he wins president

Speaking to CNN in a November 11 interview, the presidential candidate said he plans to investigate several members of President Rodrigo Duterte’s outgoing administration.

“All those corrupt officials should be jailed,” he said. “That’s the only way we can grow the economy in our country, because that’s the cancer of this country, the obstacle to growth.”

Pacquiao hopes to succeed Duterte when the Philippines goes to the polls on May 9, 2022, with the official campaigning scheduled to start until February.

But the race has heated up.

One of the pioneers is Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. – the controversial and eponymous 64-year-old son of the late dictator accused of stealing billions of dollars from the country during his two-decade rule, where thousands were imprisoned and torture.
Some experts estimate the Marcos . family accumulated more than 10 billion dollars in dictatorship. Marcos Jr. has declared many of the charges against his family to be slander.

Pacquiao’s program included trying to recover some of the “stolen wealth” from the Marcos family, who had been exiled for more than five years after the 1986 revolution.

“I’m not scared,” Pacquiao said. “This is my fight to bring development to our country, to imprison those who continuously steal the wealth of the Philippines. I want them to go to jail.”

Philippine Senator and boxing icon Manny Pacquiao arrives at the Sofitel Hotel to submit his certificate of candidacy for President, in Pasay City, Metro Manila, on October 1, 2021.

An open field

Weeks of speculation ended on Tuesday when Marcos Jr. and Duterte’s eldest daughter, Sara Duterte-Carpio, confirm that they will run for mates in the election.

Duterte-Carpio, 43, will run for vice president – elected separately from the President – on the same ticket as Marcos Jr., cementing the alliance between the two powerful families.

Among the other main contenders for the top job is Mr. Duterte’s longtime aide, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go; incumbent vice president and Duterte critic Leni Robredo; and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, a former actor.

According to Richard Heydarian, an associate professor of politics at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, dynasties and celebrities have dominated the country’s politics since the fall of the Marcos dictatorship.

“For a while, celebrities presented themselves as an alternative to political dynasties,” he said. “However, just because you’re a celebrity doesn’t mean you’ll win.”

But Pacquiao still has a fighting chance.

The broad candidate pool, combined with the Philippines’ one-on-one voting system, could give the former boxer an advantage, said Heydarian.

“Don’t forget, in the Philippines, we don’t have midterm elections,” he said. “All you have to do to be President is win more votes than everyone else.”

In 2016, Mr. Duterte did just that – won the presidency with more than 39% of the vote.

Son of a dictator.  A former actor.  A champion boxer.  Inside the euphoric race to replace Mr. Duterte is the Philippines & # 39;  leader

Despite criticism that he prioritizes his boxing career over his congressional role, Pacquiao’s political star has risen over the past five years under Duterte’s rule.

But the relationship between the two men has fractured in recent months.

Signs of a rift in the ruling PDP-Laban party began in March when the former boxer criticized Mr. Duterte’s stance on maritime disputes with China and accused government agencies of corruption.

Speaking to CNN, Pacquiao also questioned the Duterte administration’s handling of Covid-19.

Pacquiao said: “The Filipino people are very disappointed with the way those in charge of Covid response are handling the pandemic. “We are the laughing stock of the Covid response and government corruption.”

In July, Pacquiao says $200 million in pandemic aid meant for the poorest of the country are not taken into account. Mr Duterte responded by challenging Pacquiao to name corrupt government officials to prove the former boxer wasn’t just doing politics before the election.

The race for the presidency has been repeatedly overshadowed by the controversial incumbent, who is currently facing an International Criminal Court investigation over his “war on drugs”, in which Police say more than 6,600 people were killed. The government has said it will not cooperate with an international investigative body because the Philippines has a functioning justice system.

Duterte, who is prohibited by the Constitution from seeking a second term, will run for senator in next year’s election. Meanwhile, his youngest son, Sebastian Duterte, is running to replace Mr. Duterte-Carpio as mayor of Davao, on the southern island of Mindanao.

According to Heydarian, the outgoing President “needs a bastion, because the International Criminal Court will most likely push for a full investigation. And we could even see arrest warrants for some officials. top in the Philippines.”

Pacquiao said he would investigate the Duterte administration for its role in the killings.

Pacquiao said: “I will continue the war on drugs properly. “You don’t have to kill them on the street, there’s a legal process, (gives) them a chance to defend themselves to prove they’re innocent.”

Supporters of Philippine senator Manny Pacquiao greet him as he arrives to submit his presidential candidacy on October 1, 2021.

Pacquiao’s popularity

Unlike some of his opponents for the presidency, Pacquiao born into poverty.

As a child, he sold sweets and cigarettes on the street to provide for his siblings and single mother and started his boxing career fighting for a few pesos in matches. according to the law.

As the only boxer to have ever won world titles in eight different weight divisions, Pacquiao retired from boxing this year after a brilliant 26-year career.

His success in the ring and famous generosity – In 2016, he estimates he gave away $200 million to help the poor – made him a national icon.

According to Heydarian, from Polytechnic University of the Philippines, although his non-traditional career path has disappointed many in the middle class, Pacquiao is extremely popular among poor Filipinos who are inspired by his rich story, according to Heydarian, from Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

“Pacquiao has 100% name recognition, Pacquiao has a lot of money, he has (a) network across the country and he’s a very attractive guy,” Heydarian said. “He also comes from a very poor background (and) his life story is also incredibly inspiring.”

Pacquiao says it’s his unusual path – and the success he’s created for himself – that sets him apart from other contenders.

“I’m not a traditional politician,” Pacquiao said. “I am a very progressive and outspoken person, I do not hesitate to say what is right.

“I want to give the Filipino people a good life, a good future, that’s my goal, that’s why I entered politics.”

Additional reporting by Reuters and CNN’s Ben Westcott.


Source link


News7h: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Back to top button