Boxer and popular Philippine Senator Manny Pacquiao is running for president of his country.
Pacquiao, who is an outspoken Christian, accepted the nomination of his PDP-Laban party at its national convention on Sunday, saying that the Filipino people have been waiting for a change of government.
“I am a fighter, and I will always be a fighter inside and outside the ring,” Pacquiao, 42, said in his speech.
“We need government to serve our people with integrity, compassion and transparency,” he added.
Pacquiao is the president of the PDP-Laban party. Another faction of the same party earlier this month nominated President Rodrigo Duterte to be its vice presidential candidate.
Duterte, who is forbidden by the constitution from seeking a second six-year term, has accepted the nomination.
Duterte has led a brutal campaign against illegal drugs, and said last week he would rather “die first” before facing an international tribunal, the day after the International Criminal Court announced it would investigate allegations of crimes against humanity linked to the crackdown that has left thousands dead.
Pacquiao has accused the administration of Durterte of making corruption worse in the Philippines.
The famous boxer has said his experience of personal hardships will better equip him to understand people’s suffering—and fight poverty and corruption.
“In my whole life, I have not backed down on any fight,” Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao believes God put him in a position of great influence to share the gospel with many people.
As a member of the Philippine Senate, his passion for the Bible inspired him to sponsor the National Bible Day Act which states, “As a predominantly Christian nation and the largest Christian nation in the Asia Pacific, this Act recognizes the value of the Holy Bible as the core of Christian faith.”
Pacquiao reminded everyone, “We all need the Word of God to direct us and guide us in every area of our lives.”