World boxing icon and Filipino congressman Manny Pacquiao is one of the presumptive winners set to get a senatorial seat in the recently concluded elections in the Philippines.
The eight-division world titleholder who made a name in the international boxing arena emerged as one of the top 12 senatorial candidates in the Philippines, based on latest partial and unofficial counting of votes. Pacquiao landed on the ninth spot on Tuesday, garnering roughly 15 million votes of the 93 percent of the canvassed precincts.
Pacquiao’s emergence in the top 12 happened amid homophobic comments that earned him criticism from all over the world. It can be recalled that Pacquiao compared members of the LGBT community to animals over same-sex relationships. Pacquiao has since apologized for his homophobic slur.
Before his senatorial bid, Pacquiao is the incumbent representative of his hometown in Sarangani in the southern part of the Philippines. The boxing icon-turned-politician has been criticized by many Filipinos for his seeming incompetence in public office.
According to a report from Filipino newspaper Inquirer, Pacquiao only showed up in congress four times in 2014. It’s the same year the boxing icon had a fight with American boxers Timothy Bradley and Chris Algieri.
On Monday, the Philippines held the General Elections, where the Filipinos elect major posts in the government. Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who was likened by international media to U.S. presidential contender Donald Trump, is considered as the presumptive winner, as of the latest unofficial counting of votes. Duterte got more than 15 million votes as of the latest unofficial counting.