An ocean away from the U.S. campaign trail, the Philippines is having its own election season. The nation's most-high profile candidate is not a billionaire or wife of a former president, but a world champion boxer.
Manny Pacquiao is running for a senate seat. Name recognition gives him a leg up, but recent statements related to homosexuality are hindering Pacquiao's image.
"It's common sense," Pacquiao said in an interview with TV5 of the Philippines. "Do you see animals mating with the same sex? Animals are better because they can distinguish male from female. If men mate with men and women mate with women, they are worse than animals."
Pacquaio's words were immediately met with criticism from Filipino politicians and celebrities. Most notably, singer Aiza Seguerra went to Instagram for a vulgar rant. Kids, cover your eyes and know the important part of the quote reads, "You might have done our country proud but with your statement, you just showed the whole country why we shouldn't vote for you."
On Monday night, he attempted to calm the backlash against him with a peaceful explanation of his remarks. On an Instagram upload with wife Jinkie, Pacquaio -- who is deeply religious -- wrote that he would "rather obey the Lord's commands than obeying the desires of the flesh."
I rather obey the Lord's command than obeying the desires of the flesh. Im not condemning anyone, but I'm just telling the truth of what the Bible says. The truth from the Bible is what changed me from my old ways. 1 Corinthians 6:9 " Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men." God Bless everyone i love you all. @johnnybantilan @david.sisson @jinkeepacquiao
Pacquaio then worked out with Freddie Roach:
But by Tuesday morning, Pacquiao was finally convinced to issue an apology. After all, he is a politician now.
I'm sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals. Please forgive me for those I've hurt. I still stand on my belief that I'm against same sex marriage because of what the Bible says, but I'm not condemning LGBT. I love you all with the love of the Lord. God Bless you all and I'm praying for you.
Pacquiao's senate election is on May 9, just over one week to the day Pacquaio lost to Floyd Mayweather, Jr. in a unanimous decision.
Pacquiao plans to retire from boxing after one final fight on April 9 against Timothy Bradley, Jr. at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.