Boxing icon Pacquiao files for presidential candidacy

The country opens a week-long window for filing of candidacy for thousands of political posts, from the presidency down to town councillors, kicking off what is expected to be a hotly contested election in May next year.

42-year-old Pacquiao has already served as both congressman and senator, winning elections with his appeal as one of boxing's all-time greats, as well as his rags-to-riches life story. However, his commitment to public service has also been questioned, with his poor attendance in congress and lengthy disappearances as senator while training for big-money fights abroad.

In July, Pacquiao was ousted as president of the country's ruling political party. Having previously been one of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte's staunchest allies, he is now an outspoken critic of the incumbent leader.

More than 60 million Filipinos will vote in May 2022 for a new president, vice president, and more than 18,000 lawmakers and local government officials.

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