Macau, China – Filipino world boxing champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao confirmed to reporters today that he has set his eyes – and fists – on the Philippine presidency when the 6-year term of incumbent president Noynoy Aquino comes to an end. Pacquiao is currently serving as a Congressman representing his hometown district of Sarangani.
Pacquiao, whose last title bout ended with him being knocked out by challenger Juan Miguel Marquez, faces Brandon Rios of the United States tonight in a title fight.
Paquiao will be the first boxer ever to run for head of state. The Philippines has had its share of non-politicians running for elective positions. Former president Joseph Estrada, now mayor of Manila, was a movie actor. Many Philippine legislators, provincial governors and city mayors, are also actors, entertainers and journalists.
Asked what his top priorities will be if elected president, Pacquiao said that his first order of business would be to convert the Cultural Center of the Philippines to a national karaoke center and the National Assembly Building (Batasang Pambansa) to the “Boxing Center for Asia.” Aside from boxing, Pacquiao’s other passion is singing.
As for his chances of winning the elections, Pacquiao said he is confident that the Filipino electorate will see his honest intentions to lead the country. “It’s definitely not about accumulating wealth, unlike many politicians. I already have lots and lots of money.”
Pacquiao’s mother, Aling Dionisia, was apparently delighted at her son’s announcement. “I don’t mind being called Queen Mum,” she exclaimed in her native Visayan dialect.