Duterte Teases Endorsing Boxing Champ Manny Pacquiao For President

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte teased endorsing professional boxing champion Manny Pacquiao for president, Reuters reported.

Pacquiao was one of the names on a list of possible successors for Duterte, who is unable to run for another term because of a constitutional limit, a presidential spokesperson said according to Reuters. Other names on the list include his daughter Sara, and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, the son of former President Ferdinand Marcos. Duterte’s six-year term ends in June 2022. (RELATED: Philippines’ Duterte Pardons US Marine Convicted With Killing Transgender Woman)

Duterte’s daughter, Sara Duterte-Carpio, is the mayor of Davao City while Marcos is a former senator. In addition to his boxing career, Pacquiao is a senator in the Philippines.

Additional names on the list include Manila Mayor Francisco Domagoso and Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go, Reuters reported.

Duterte became president after winning the election in 2016. He has been criticized for telling police to kill those who defied Philippines pandemic lockdown orders and stating that he would keep schools closed until there was a vaccine for COVID-19.

Pacquiao is considered a loyal ally to Duterte and is head of the president’s ruling PDP-Laban party, according to Bloomberg. The party is encouraging Duterte to run as vice president.

None of the names on the list have yet to declare their intention to run for president. Pacquiao is scheduled to defend his WBC and IBF titles against Errol Spence Jr. in August.