Philippine presidential candidate Manny Pacquiao speaks during a campaign-loft rally in Iloilo City, eastern Philippines, on January 14, 2019. (MOHAMED NAVARRO/AFP/Getty Images)
Faced with a popular mandate to better tackle poverty and unemployment, and living up to the caricature of a prizefighter who becomes an equal opportunity critic, Philippine presidential candidate Manny Pacquiao on Monday said that he would jail his political allies if he wins, specifically blaming Philippine military and police. The seven-term senator has become something of a political pitchman as he works to secure the presidency. At one point, Pacquiao even referred to himself as “mayor” of his hometown of General Santos in the southern Philippines.
“There are two sides: there’s the military and there’s the police. What I can say, if I am elected president of the country, I will prohibit both [departments] from intervening in government,” he said. “I will call the defense and security councils, the board of security and I will order them to provide 24-hour security in their respective areas, until I am released from their jail.”
Pacquiao has garnered a large following in the Philippines, and has been pulling in high favorable ratings over the course of his career. Critics say that Pacquiao’s incessant campaign rants are inappropriate for a candidate who can use his voice as a tool to promote better governance. That said, Pacquiao does not have strong contenders in the race, and his campaign is more about positioning himself as the ultimate authority on the Philippine presidency. A recent survey found that Pacquiao is currently ahead of three candidates, including his archrival and the current president, Rodrigo Duterte.
Read the full story at The Guardian.
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