Manny Pacquiao said he’s ‘not afraid to die’ to help the Philippines battle the coronavirus pandemic

Sen. Manny Pacquiao.

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Sen. Manny Pacquiao.
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Photo by Ted Aljibe /AFP via Getty Images
  • Manny Pacquiao, the Philippine senator and boxing legend, told the Manila Bulletin over the weekend that to be a leader you need “to be a frontliner” and that he was “not afraid to die” to help his country fight the coronavirus pandemic.
  • As of Monday, the Philippines had reported 462 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, and 33 deaths.
  • Pacquiao has reportedly donated 600,000 face masks to frontline workers and has teamed up with Alibaba CEO Jack Ma to supply 50,000 COVID-19 testing kits.
  • “I grew up poor. I know what they feel,” Pacquiao, a former eight-weight world-champion boxer, told the Manila Bulletin.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Manny Pacquiao said he’s “not afraid to die” to help Filipinos during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Manila Bulletin.

Pacquiao entered politics in 2010, when he was elected to the Philippines’ House of Representatives to represent the province of Sarangani. In 2016, he was elected to serve a six-year term as a senator.

The coronavirus pandemic has affected many countries, restricted travel, and shut down major sports organizations and events. As of Monday, there were more than 343,000 global cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, and more than 14,000 deaths. The Philippines had reported 462 cases and 33 deaths.

Pacquiao told the Manila Bulletin over the weekend that he was concerned that people could resort to looting if living conditions in his country deteriorate because of the spread of the virus.

“If you are a leader, you have to be a frontliner,” Pacquiao said.

“You have to lead and let people see that you are with them,” he said, adding: “I grew up poor. I know what they feel.”

Pacquiao donated about 600,000 face masks to frontline workers tackling the coronavirus outbreak in the Philippines and teamed up with Alibaba’s billionaire CEO, Jack Ma, to donate 50,000 COVID-19 testing kits, ABS-CBN reported last week.

He has also made “numerous public appearances” to try to “reassure residents fearful of COVID-19 spreading even more,” Boxing Scene said on Sunday.

Pacquiao, a former eight-weight world-champion boxer, has juggled his athletic career with his career in politics and remains one of the best athletes competing in his sport; earlier this month, Insider named him one of the 15 best fighters on the planet.

In January 2019, Pacquiao dominated Adrien Broner before knocking down Keith Thurman en route to a points decision in July.