Manny Pacquiao Concedes Philippines Presidential Race to Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVMay 10, 2022

This photo taken on May 7, 2022 shows Philippine boxing icon and presidential candidate Manny Pacquiao raising a clinched fist during a campaign rally in General Santos City, on the southern island of Mindanao. (Photo by AFP) (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)
STR/AFP via Getty Images

Manny Pacquiao will not be the next president of the Philippines. 

Pacquiao conceded Tuesday to Ferdinand Marcos Jr. after it became apparent the boxer had no chance of mounting a comeback at the polls. Marcos Jr. had more than 31 million votes compared to Pacquiao's 3,627,979, according to Filipino news outlet Rappler

"I know how to accept defeat. But I hope that even though I lost this race, my countrymen, especially the poor, still win in this scenario," Pacquiao said in a statement.

Marcos Jr. is the son of Ferdinand Marcos Sr., the former Filipino president who served from 1965 to 1986, including a period of martial law from 1972 to 1981. His presidency was defined by large-scale corruption, with his family stealing billions of dollars from the Central Bank of the Philippines.

Marcos Sr. and his wife currently have the Guinness world record for largest theft from a government. At the time of his deposal in 1986, Marcos Sr. had left the Philippines in severe financial straits, largely because of his corrupt behavior.

Marcos Jr. has attempted to distance himself in some aspects and provided noncommittal answers about his father's reign during his campaign.

Pacquiao was one of several challengers to Marcos Jr., warning of "chaos" if the 64-year-old was able to take over. In his concession statement, Pacquiao slightly changed his tune, wishing the future president success. 

"To the next president Bongbong Marcos, I pray for the success of your administration, that the poor will be provided help and their lives will become better," Pacquiao said.

Pacquiao has been heavily involved in Filipino politics since 2007, serving in the House of Representatives and the Senate. He retired from boxing last year after losing to Yordenis Ugas.