Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte (l) says that if Senator Manny Pacquiao (r) cannot provide names of those committing corruption, he’s just “playing politics.” Photo: Manila Times

Looks like a different type of pay-per-view pound for pound is brewing on the horizon.

Champion boxer and current Philippines senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao has been widely known as one of President Rodrigo Duterte’s strongest supporters. Now, with Duterte’s 6-term limit expiring next June, Pacquiao–a possible Presidential candidate– is becoming vocal on corruption in the country, and Duterte is accusing him of pandering.

Duterte says that if Pacquiao does not show proof of these corruption allegations, he’s just “playing politics.” You know, like 90% of all typical and self-serving politicians–and probably including himself.

“I’m not saying there is no corruption, so expose it,” Duterte said Monday night in a televised national address. “If you don’t do that, I will expose you daily as a liar … I know you from way back.”

Sounds more like a threat to deter Pacquiao’s efforts.

Pacquiao was quick to respond.

“I am accepting the challenge of President Rodrigo Duterte,” he said today. “Thank you for giving us the opportunity to help you and provide information for the campaign against corruption.

“With due respect to the beloved President, but, I am not a liar,” Pacquiao continued. “I have some mistakes in my life that I am now trying to correct, but I have two things with me. I am not corrupt and I am not a liar.”

As reported by the Manila Times, it was actually Duterte who said on October 27th of last year that corruption was expanding in the country and needed to be dealt with.

“I will concentrate the last remaining years of my term fighting corruption because until now [corruption] has not weakened, in fact, it has become stronger,” Duterte reportedly said in October.

And now, in usual political fashion, it seems Duterte’s promise has been hit with a bout of amnesia–with Pacquiao now willing to take on the task. An ulterior motive will be hard to prove, and Pacquiao has not yet announced his Presidential candidacy.

If he does, and if the relationship between he and Duterte–who is popular in the Philippines–completely sours, those backing who could be Duterte’s daughter as a possible Presidential candidate and Duterte himself as Vice President will make for an election year running a close second behind that of the United State’s “Truman Show”-plagued 2020.

Well, not really. But maybe in their neck of the woods.

Manny Pacquiao takes on Floyd Mayweather in what was dubbed the “Fight of the Century” on May 2, 2015.

Previously a congressman, Pacquiao has been a Senator in the Philippines for the past 6 years. He is also the president of the ruling party under President Duterte.

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