Manny Pacquiao Fighting for Philippines Presidency, Political Bettors Like His Shot
Posted on: September 22, 2021, 12:52h.
Last updated on: September 22, 2021, 02:01h.
Manny Pacquiao made a career out of beating his opponents in the boxing ring. Now the 42-year-old hopes to find a similar result against his political foes. He’s seeking to assume the presidency of the Philippines in 2022.
Pacquiao, 42, on Sunday officially announced his candidacy to replace Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte. The Philippines limits presidents to one six-year term. Duterte’s reign began on June 30, 2016, and expires next June.
Pacquiao, whose political career began in conjunction with Duterte’s presidency, hopes to be the controversial leader’s successor. PacMan, as his fans call him, has served as a Filipino senator since June 2016.
I am a fighter, and I will always be a fighter inside and outside the ring,” Pacquiao declared during a speech livestreamed to the Senate of the Philippines. “I am accepting your nomination as candidate for president of the Republic of the Philippines.”
Pacquiao is considered one of the best boxers of all time. His professional boxing record stands at 62 wins, including 39 knockouts, against only eight losses.
He last fought in August at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena where he was defeated by unanimous decision by Yordenis Ugas. Pacquiao was the heavy favorite at -400 (implied odds 80 percent) entering the bout.
Odds Favor Pacquiao
Pacquiao is running on an anti-Duterte campaign. He believes the current president is too cozy with China and has allowed corruption to thrive during his presidency.
Pacquiao has received the backing of a faction within the PDP-Laban Party for the 2022 presidential election. Pacquiao is a PDP-Laban Party member.
The PDP-Laban Party has been the ruling party since 2016. The party, however, has become divided under Duterte’s rule. Pacquiao heads one part, while the other is presided by Alfonso Cusi, a Duterte associate who currently serves the administration as secretary of energy.
Duterte seemed to recently form a succession plan that would allow him to retain some element of power. The Duterte faction of the PDP-Laban Party has nominated Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go as its presidential candidate, with Duterte tipped to run as his vice president.
Users on the online political betting exchange PredictIt like Pacquiao’s odds of becoming the chief lawmaker in the Philippines.
The PredictIt market asking, “Who will be elected president of the Philippines in 2022?” has Pacquiao shares leading at 24 cents. Go is second at 21 cents.
Sara Duterte-Carpio, Duterte’s oldest daughter and who is currently the mayor of Davao City, is third at 20 cents. However, Duterte-Carpio says she will not seek to replace her father, instead pledging to run for another term as Davao City mayor.
Future of Philippines’ Casinos
The Philippines gaming industry plays a major role in the economic health of the Southeast Asia nation. The country’s multibillion-dollar integrated resorts in Manila’s Entertainment City, along with smaller casinos located throughout the rest of the republic, deliver the government more than $1 billion annually during non-pandemic years.
Pacquiao freely admits he once had a gambling problem and spent too much time and money on cockfighting. He says that ended in 2011 when he became a born-again Christian.
PacMan is supportive of the Philippines’ legal and regulated casino resorts. But he believes the country’s gaming regulator, which also operates its own casinos, should be better monitored.
Pacquiao supports bringing in a third-party audit firm to supervise the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation.