Manny Pacquiao is coming off the biggest defeat of his career. He came third in the presidential elections in the Philippines which took place on Monday.

But Pacquiao remains dignified in defeat. In a video in which he switches between English and Tagalog the multiple time world champion acknowledges that Ferdinand Marcos Jr has won the election.

He won by a landslide with 31 million votes. Pacquiao came in a distant third but picked up 3.3mn votes and pledged to continue serving the people despite the disappointing results:


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Uplifting lives

Speaking in English he told his Instagram followers that,

“The people have spoken. My decision to run was driven by my desire to serve the county and uplift the lives of poor Filipinos. I will definitely continue my mission to help our people through the Manny Pacquiao Foundation.”

Pacquiao is the best boxer the county has ever produced. He grew up in extreme poverty in General Santos City but went on to earn millions facing the likes of Floyd Mayweather and Oscar de la Hoya in lucrative pay per view bouts.

In 2010 he entered politics and six years later he was elected as a senator in the Philippines. At first he found a way to combine his political commitments with his professional boxing career.


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Retirement from boxing

But after a decision loss to Yordenis Ugás last year he announced his retirement from the sport. He ran for president on a platform of solving corruption and a promise of nationwide housing projects for the poor.

The pledge to end corruption was particularly pertinent given his opponent’s family history. The Marcos family looted so much money from the Philippines that they have a place in the Guinness Book of Records for committing the ‘greatest robbery of a government’.

Ferdinand Marcos was president of the Philippines from 1928 to 1981 but was forced to flee the country amid corruption allegations that sparked street protests. An American court ruled that he should return the money but it was never recovered.

In 1996 an American court found that Marcos, who died in 1989, was responsible for massive human rights abuses, including torture, murder and the disappearances of fellow Filipinos. The family was ordered to pay $1.9 billion in compensation but this money was never recovered.


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Uncertain era

Instead the Marcos family’s image has been rehabilitated after an extensive campaign that ultimately saw ‘Bong Bong’ Marcos elected as president of the Philippines. This caused Pacquiao to lament the fact that so many people in the Philippines would ‘vote for a plunderer’.

So while Pacquiao’s presidential ambitions are on hold for the time being this definitely isn’t the end of his political career. The Philippines is entering an uncertain era and the former boxer’s anti corruption platform could well turn out to capture the imagination of the public.