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article imageOp-Ed: Pacquiao's retirement plan tied to higher political ambitions.

By Leo Reyes     Jul 28, 2013 in Sports
The real reason Manny Pacquiao is not retiring from boxing could be attributed to his long-term political plans which include a shot at the presidency in 2022.
In his revelations to Agence France-Presse (AFP) in an exclusive interview after the kick off ceremony in Macau, China, to promote his upcoming fight against Brandon Rios on Nov. 24, Pacquiao said he has indeed entertained the idea of joining the 2022 presidential election.
Pacquiao's admission is not actually new. In 2011, his promoter Bob Arum revealed Pacquiao's political plan.
"It's 2022, that's the year Manny would become eligible to run for the presidency," Arum said before Pacman's open media workout according to back in 2011.
"That would be, to me, the biggest achievement of my career, to see this kid how far he has come and how far he can go.
"But I hope I will be alive to see it. I will be age 91. I won't be dancing, I will be in the hospice by then," Arum said with a hearty laugh.
Arum seems privy to the political plans of his No.1 cash cow. He seems to know also how elections are conducted in the Philippines, having secretly campaigned for Pacquiao in Sarangani during the 2010 congressional elections.
Apparently, Arum is aware that a serious bid for the presidency requires a huge budget and the only way to raise funds without resorting to traditional way of funding elections, is to continue fighting until he is able to raise sufficient cash to finance his campaign.
In the last presidential elections, then Senator Manny Villar was quoted to have said in a PCIJ report that a decent presidential campaign would need at least P1 billion, saying: “If you can't even raise one billion pesos, why even run?”
Of course, Villar knows that legally a candidate can only raise the amount equivalent to P10.00 per registered voter. And assuming there are 50 million registered voters, a presidential candidate can only spend P500 million.
It would seem though that Villar's estimate of P1 billion to launch a decent presidential campaign is more real than imagined.
Apparently, Pacquiao does not have this money in his bank at this time and it could be reason he isn't retiring just yet.
Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao celebrates with coach Freddie roach and promoter Bob Arum during one o...
Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao celebrates with coach Freddie roach and promoter Bob Arum during one of his fight wins.
Chris Farina
Pacquiao is reportedly getting at least $20 million per fight in the US but Arum said uncle Sam is getting up to 40% as payment for taxes. Then he has to pay for operating and other expenses from his net income (after taxes), leaving him with not much to save to support his presidential bid.
But now that he is fighting outside the US, he would be able to save substantially on his tax payments.
Depending on his pay-per-view sales for the Macau fight, Pacquiao should be able to set aside at least $25 million or P1.1 billion ($25 x P44.00) from his target of three to five more fights.
From his most recent admission about his future political plans, it appears that the only reason he is not yet retiring has something to do with his plan to run for senator in 2016 and to eventually join the presidential race in 2022.
Looking at reactions from netizens on Facebook about Pacquiao's presidential bid, it appears that majority of commenters do not want him to run for president. But a fairly large minority said he has a good chance of winning because he has the huge "masa" vote behind him.
It is interesting to note that many of those who are opposing his candidacy said that Pacquiao is a sure winner, with the masa supporting him just like what they did to elect Erap and FPJ.
Apparently those who are opposing Pacquiao's presidential bid belong to the middle to high income sector of society that represent a much smaller percentage of the voting population vis-a-vis the masa.
The news item on Pacquiao's presidential bid was quickly picked by international media and it is reported to be a trending topic in social media at this time.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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