Presidential candidate Senator Manny Pacquiao says his impoverished roots make him the best person to be president, as he warns voters to avoid corruption-tainted candidates.
He questioned why people supported Ferdinand Marcos Jr, the current frontrunner for the May 9 vote, pointing to the plundering of the country’s wealth during his father’s rule.
“The root cause of our country’s problem is corruption and then we would vote for a candidate who has been tainted by corruption? What happened to us as a nation? Where is our intelligence?” Pacquiao said in an interview with Reuters late on Thursday.
The incumbent senator has made fighting corruption a centrepiece of his campaign, vowing to strengthen efforts to recover billions of dollars missing since the fall of the Marcos rule.
“Why are we in poverty? Because we don’t have money? Wrong. Because of corruption,” Pacquiao said.
Marcos’s camp did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but the candidate has previously said he cannot apologise for what his father did.
Pacquiao is trailing in fourth place on 6% in the latest opinion poll, well behind Marcos, who is leading with 56%.