By: Agence France-Presse
Boxing hero Manny Pacquiao lifted the spirits of Philippine troops in a go to on Saturday to a southern metropolis the place soldiers have been battling pro-Islamic State militants for over two months.
The boxer-turned-senator, dressed in a army camouflage uniform, joked that he would be part of the battle in town of Marawi the place militants have been on a rampage, holding hostages and burning buildings whereas flying the black IS flag.
“You are the real heroes, not Manny Pacquiao. I am just a boxer but you give your lives for our country,” he informed soldiers in a camp in Marawi City.
“Hopefully, I can come back here and greet you again when the fighting is done and if it isn’t finished when I come back, then I will be the one who will go over there,” stated Pacquiao, referring to a battleground outdoors the camp the place gunshots and explosions may very well be heard.
The fighting in the Mindanao area has claimed 630 lives, together with 471 militants, 45 civilians and 114 authorities troops, the army has stated.
Pacquiao, who was made a lieutenant colonel in the army reserves in recognition of his boxing achievements, stays a vastly widespread determine in the Philippines.
He rose from poverty to develop into a millionaire world boxing champion in an unprecedented eight weight divisions, utilizing his superstar standing as a springboard to get elected to the highly effective Philippine senate.
But Pacquiao’s star has dimmed in current years, with the 38-year-old fighter dropping his world welterweight title to Australian Jeff Horn in a serious upset final month.(AFP)