MANILA, Philippines – From his storied boxing career to politics, Manny Pacquiao has done nothing but win, and the people around him are certainly benefitting.
Those close to the fighting senator have found success in the 2019 midterm elections, with family and friends winning government posts.
Pacquiao's confidante and chief trainer Restituto "Buboy" Fernandez claimed victory as the new vice mayor of Albay town Polangui, beating Renato Borja in a close contest.
Fernadez, running under PDP-Laban, garnered 19,895 votes while the independent Borja amassed 17,711 votes.
Pacquiao's brother Rogelio, meanwhile, retained Sarangani's congressional seat by a landslide.
With almost 90% of clustered precincts having transmitted results as of posting, Rogelio has gained an insurmountable lead of nearly 170,000 votes over independent Jacob Arroyo.
Another Pacquiao triumphed, as cousin Zyrex won the mayoralty race of the municipality of Maasim in Sarangani province.
Zyrex, running under the People's Champ Movement founded by Pacquiao, accumulated 14,107 votes to edge out Uttoh Salem Cutan of the Nationalist People's Coalition (11,365).
Several candidates under the People's Champ Movement running in Sarangani and General Santos City in South Cotabato, where the Pacquiaos originally came from, are also set to secure their victories.
Even on the national level, Pacquiao had a massive effect.
With Pacquiao serving as national campaign manager, PDP-Laban had 4 of its 5 senatorial bets breaching the Magic 12.
Bong Go and Bato dela Rosa – two of President Rodrigo Duterte's closest allies – are ranking 3rd and 5th, respectively, while Francis Tolentino and Koko Pimentel are on the 9th and 11th spots, respectively, as of the latest count.
The Pacquiao-endorsed party-list organization, 1Pacman, meanwhile, is poised to win at least one congressional seat, having garnered 2.58% of the votes so far. – Rappler.com
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.