The Philippines' presidential election heats up with boxer Manny Pacquiao and the former dictator's son among 5 surprising candidates duking it out for control

The deadline for candidacy was November 15 and we compiled a list of the front-runners.

The son of a former dictator, a teen actor turned senator, and an ex- police general are some of the notable ones.

The campaign is not set to start until February. In a recent speech, the President said that a candidate who might win hands down used cocaine. When reporters asked who he was referring to, he demurred.

The country's constitution prevents the president from running again. The nation is watching to see who will replace him as his six-year term comes to an end next year.

The Philippines has struggled with political corruption and instability since the 1986 revolution that deposed the dictator Ferdinand Marcos. It has been below the World Bank's median for political stability for decades, despite being ranked 115th out of 180 countries in the 2020 Corruption Perception Index.

Political parties in the Philippines are weak and politicians can switch sides with little consequence, which is different to the US.

There are five candidates for the May election in the Philippines.

Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. was the dictator's son.

Ferdinand Marcos' son, Marcos, was a former senator.

Noel Celis/AFP.

Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. is the son of a dictator who ruled the Philippines for 25 years. After torturing, killing, and displacing thousands of Filipinos under martial law, Marcos went into exile in Hawaii with his family.

Marcos returned to the Philippines after his father's death, serving as a governor and a senator. He ran for vice president in 2016 but lost to Leni Robredo, who is also running for president.

The chair of the department of political science at the University of the Philippines told Insider that the family has spent a lot of money to rehabilitate their image and promote revisionist versions of Philippine history.

He commands a cultlike following in the Philippines, especially among younger voters who may not have had as much direct contact with his father's government, according to a professor at the University of the Philippines.

He is one of the strongest candidates.

The professor said that he could get a plurality to win.

The daughter of the president announced that she would be Marcos' running mate.

Manman Dejeto is pictured.

The daughter of the current president announced on November 16 that she would be Marcos' running mate, giving Marcos an advantage in the race.

The Philippines has a vice president and president who are elected separately, but the alliance allows both sides to get their supporters.

There has been no result after human-rights groups filed a petition to stop Marcos from running.
"Bongbong" is a common name given to people named after their fathers, according to Atienza.

The boxer is named 'PacMan'.

There is a boxer named Muhammad Ali.

The photo was taken by Ethan Miller.

In September, the world-champion boxer Pacquiao put down his gloves for good, announcing his retirement in a YouTube video that transitions into a hip-hop music video.

According to Forbes, the man is now worth $26 million and lived on the streets as a teenager. Tigno said that he lacked a serious political network and relied on giving out cash to sway voters.

"I don't think his supporters are serious about making sure he wins," he said. They just want a small portion of his winnings.

There is a poor political track record by the man. He was not present in the Senate.

He lacks concrete programs and policies beyond the populist promises.
The two men had a falling out after the latter criticized the president's response to the swine flu and his relationship with China. The president scolded the boxing champ.

Tigno and Atienza said that the boxing icon didn't have a chance of winning the election.

Francisco Domagoso is the teen actor.

The state of the city address was delivered by Domagoso at Manila City Hall on July 15.

The images are by Ezra Acayan.

The mayor of Manila is Francisco Domagoso. Domagoso was a teen actor who grew up in the slums like Pacquiao.
Domagoso was a host of the popular Filipino variety show "That's Entertainment" as a teen. Domagoso starred in "titillating films", a genre popular at the time. He was a city councilor when he moved into politics. Manila's mayor was elected in 2019.

He has focused on reviving Manila's tourism industry and image, which has earned him the favor of the capital's residents.

She said he was branded a "Duterte-lite" figure because he employed the same campaign team as the leader and was campaigning off his record as a mayor.

Tigno said that running may be a mistake. Domagoso's reputation isn't as well-established as it could be because he has only one term under his belt.

He could have run for another two terms and solidified his hold on the city, but he chose to run for a national position.

He said that his popularity is not comparable to the cult status enjoyed by Marcos Jr.

PanFilo 'Ping' Lacson is the police general.

The Senate in Manila held a press conference on March 28, 2011.

Noel Clisseau/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images.

PanFilo "Ping" Lacson has been in the Philippines Senate since 2001. He was the director general of the police from 1998 to 2001.

Lacson gained a celebritylike status for his reforms, such as requiring cops to trim their waistlines to 86 centimeters and posting corrupt officers to dangerous areas with high levels of rebel presence.

"Ping Lacson: Super Cop" was a movie about him. Lacson was accused by the military-intelligence chief of money-laundering after he retired from police work. He has denied the allegations and is an advocate for stricter laws against money-laundering.

Lacson was accused of being involved in the killings of 11 gang members in 1995 as well as the killing of a well-known publicist and his driver, with the latter allegation putting him on the "red-notice" wanted list.

The gang-killing case against Lacson was dismissed by the Supreme Court of the Philippines. The Philippines dropped charges against Lacson because the main witness against him was unreliable.

Lacson, who failed to win the presidency in 2004, hopes to win the race with promises to curb illegal drugs, criminality, and corruption.

He used to be an advocate of bringing the death penalty back to the Philippines, but now wants to build a prison for criminals like the one on Alcatraz Island. Prevention, rehabilitation, and correction are better ways to fight criminal behavior, according to him.

Tigno said recent polls show Lacson hasn't generated the popularity he needs to win the race.
Leni Robredo is the nemesis of the vice president.

Robredo filed her candidacy to join the presidential race in 2022.

The images are by Ezra Acayan.

The vice president of the Philippines is Leni Robredo. She has been a critic of his war on drugs and his response to the swine flu. She was pressured to resign by the man who tried to exclude her from Cabinet meetings.

Robredo passed the bar in 1997 and worked in the public attorney's office before she was elected to Congress. She supported the Freedom of Information Act that increased transparency of government funding and transactions.

The presidential hopeful has been the target of several fake-news campaigns.

A doctored photo of politicians having dinner was used to make them laugh on TV. The image has been discredited by Agence France-Presse. She was disqualified from the presidential race after breaking election rules, according to a fake video.

Tigno said that Robredo's numbers are rising. She may end up matching Marcos Jr if she keeps moving her campaign forward.

Robredo has experience as a politician and vice president, but voters will not appreciate those achievements, he said.

Robredo doesn't seem to be able to make that kind of promise to people. She is too sincere with herself to allow herself to lie. If she loses, that can be a problem.

If she wins, it will mean a new beginning for Philippine democracy.