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Boxer Manny Pacquiao to run for Philippine presidency

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Boxing star Manny Pacquiao says he will run for the presidency of the Philippines next year.

"We are ready to rise to the challenge of leadership."

Pacquiao leads a faction in the ruling PDP-Laban party.

On Sunday (September 19) he accepted the nomination of his political allies and railed against corruption in government and President Rodrigo Duterte's cosy relationship with China.

"We need progress. We need to win against poverty. We need government to serve our people with integrity, compassion, and transparency."

The move comes days after a rival faction nominated Duterte's long-time aide Senator Christoper Go as its presidential candidate, which he declined.

That faction also nominated Duterte for vice president, a move that critics called a cynical ploy by Duterte to retain power.

"I am hopeful that this will allow me to continue serving the Filipino people and lead the entire nation towards greater progress."

Pacquiao's faction has not expressed support for Duterte's vice-presidential bid.

Duterte is prohibited by the constitution from running for a second six-year term as president.

Pacquaio, once a close ally of Duterte's, has said more than 10 billion pesos in aid intended for poor families during the global health crisis was unaccounted for.

That's around $200m.

Pacquiao's anti-corruption campaign also comes as the Senate opened an investigation into alleged overpricing of medical supplies and equipment purchased under the government's pandemic response programme.

Duterte has challenged Pacquiao to name corrupt government offices.

Pacquiao is one of the greatest boxers of all time and the only man to hold world titles in eight different divisions.

But despite his popularity, he trails front-runners in opinion polls.

They have been consistently topped by Sara Duterte-Carpio - the president's daughter.

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