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Pacquiao has issued a challenge to Philippine leaders to reveal their wealth

FILE PHOTO: Philippine senator and newly retired boxing icon Manny Pacquiao waves to his supporters as he arrives at Sofitel Hotel to file his certificate of candidacy for president, in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines, October 1, 2021. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

Manny Pacquiao, the former boxing champion who has promised to clean up the Philippine government if elected president, said on Thursday that he would proudly reveal all of his assets and challenged all officials to do the same.

The news: Pacquiao’s comments come after another presidential candidate, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., earlier stated that revealing his statement of assets would be risky since it may be used against him by political opponents.

  • President Rodrigo Duterte, whose government Pacquiao chastised for failing to do enough to combat graft, has not made his asset declaration public since 2017.
  • Senator Pacquiao has made combatting corruption a focal point of his presidential campaign, comparing corrupt officials to “cancer” in government. He has promised to imprison them.

What they’re saying: “I have plenty of ways and strategies to fight corruption but I could not reveal them yet lest these officials might prepare. God gave me the knowledge and the wisdom how to eradicate corruption,” said the former eight-division champion.

While no one doubts his ability to fight inside the ring, some political watchers dispute his capacity to rule and shepherd the economy back to health after the COVID-19 outbreak.

  • “I would not have ran (for president) if didn’t think I have the capability. Why would I embarrass myself?” Pacquiao said. “I know all the country’s problems and I know the solutions.”

Pacquiao came from a poor family and was a stowaway on a ship who began fighting on the streets as a child for $2 a fight. According to his Philippines statement of assets, his net worth was $69 million in 2020.

($1 = 51.30 Philippine pesos)

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