Retired boxing star Manny Pacquiao recorded a big political success Thursday with election into the Philippines senate.
The boxing legend is a two-time Congressman and stepped it up on Thursday after he was declared among 12 new members of the country’s upper house of Congress, following a general election where 80 percent of 55 million eligible voters turned out, Mirror reports.
“I can focus and discipline myself, the way I did in boxing to help the nation,” Pacquiao told reporters, saying, as a new senator, he would push for free education at all levels.
The world champion says he favours restoring the death penalty for drug-related and other serious crimes, as President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has said he will ask Congress to re-introduce a the law that was repealed in 2006.
“In the eyes of God, it is not unlawful,” Pacquiao, a conservative Christian, said.
The 37-year-old WBO welterweight champion, adored in his homeland for his grass to grace story, won more than 16 million votes to come in seventh place.
He faced a major storm early this year after making scathing remarks about gays and lesbians, with his ratings plummeting ahead of the polls.
However, a strong victory over American champion Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas to win the WBO welterweight title saw his glory restored in his homeland.