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Philippine boxer Manny Pacquiao to run for senate

Eight-division world champion Manny "Pac-Man" Pacquiao attends a news conference ahead of his upcoming bout with five-division world boxing champion Floyd "Money" Mayweather (not seen), in Los Angeles, California in this 11 March 2015 file photo Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Pacquiao's congress term ends in 2016, after which he plans to run for the senate

Boxer Manny Pacquiao has announced he plans to run for a seat in the Philippines senate in 2016.

Mr Pacquiao, 36, is currently a member of the country's lower house of representatives, the congress.

He said on Monday evening that he would run for higher office in May next year, after his congress term ends.

The boxing champion is hugely popular at home. Earlier this year he lost to American Floyd Mayweather in one of the biggest fights in the sport.

Mr Pacquiao made the announcement while addressing constituents in his home province of Sarangani in the south. He did not say which party he planned to join to run for the senate.

The athlete has pushed for several bills in congress, promoting social welfare and sport, but has also been criticised for having missed many congress meetings during his two terms.

Philippine politics has long been dominated by celebrities and powerful clans.

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