Boxing legend Pacquiao 'fed up with politics'

Mr Manny Pacquiao admits that he is frustrated and has often considered quitting his job as senator.
Mr Manny Pacquiao admits that he is frustrated and has often considered quitting his job as senator.

MANILA • Boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao says he is fed up with politics and has repeatedly considered quitting his job as senator.

"I feel dismayed, discouraged. I want to let go because I'm not used to politicking," he told The Philippine Star earlier this week.

"I discovered that in politics, you wouldn't know what's real or not. People have many faces," he said, adding that it was the first time he has gone on the record that he is frustrated with his political career.

He said he has so far only discussed his views with his wife Jinkee and some close friends.

He said educated people have been elected into office, and yet the lives of Filipinos have barely improved.

"What's important is someone who's true and sincere and truly feels for the poor. The rich know the country's problems but they can't really feel the plight of the poor. It's different if you really feel their problems," said Mr Pacquiao, who experienced poverty when he was a struggling boxer in his hometown in General Santos.

Despite his dismal performance as a congressman, he was elected senator in national elections last year. His rags to riches story - the fishmonger who boxed his way to fame and fortune - simply tugs at so many voters' hearts.

The 38-year-old says he is still thinking whether to seek re-election in 2022, and is asking God for guidance. Mr Pacquiao said he feels for President Rodrigo Duterte, who the boxing superstar says is working hard and is sincere despite attacks from certain groups.

His American coach of 16 years Freddie Roach has been urging him to hang up his gloves and focus on his political career.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 23, 2017, with the headline 'Boxing legend Pacquiao 'fed up with politics''. Print Edition | Subscribe