Pacquiao Ousted From Top Party Post Amid Feud With Duterte

The Philippines’ ruling party ousted boxer-turned-senator Manny Pacquiao from its leadership, deepening his feud with President Rodrigo Duterte as their plans for the 2022 presidential elections diverge.

Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan removed Pacquiao as its president on Saturday, ABS-CBN News reported. He was replaced by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

Pacquiao has emerged as a prospective presidential candidate in Duterte’s party, and an obstacle to the leader’s succession plans after his single six-year term ends. He ranked fifth in a recent presidential preference poll, where Duterte’s daughter Sara was top choice.

Once a loyal Duterte ally, Pacquiao has recently been criticizing the administration for what he describes as its soft stance on China, and for alleged corruption. Duterte hit back by telling the senator to study more foreign policy, and said his corruption allegations are baseless.

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