An ISIS affiliate group, Abu Sayyaf, plotted to kidnap boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao, who is running for senator in his native Philippines, said the country’s president on April 27.
President Benigno Aquino III announced Abu Sayyaf terrorists may have plotted against his life and have considered kidnapping Pacquiao and Aquino’s sister, who is a famous actress.
The terrorist group is accused of recently beheading a Canadian hostage, John Ridsdel, after a deadline for ransom was missed.
However, Pacquiao, born Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao, is not deterred by the threats and has continued to push his campaign.
— Manny Pacquiao (@mannypacquiao) April 28, 2016
The world champion was seen with security escorts as he campaigned in Laguna province, shaking hands with people and allowing crowds to take selfies with him.
“I doubt (the threat) but I’m not ignoring it,” he told reporters.
Pacquiao, 37, who is currently a congressman and is second on Forbes’ list of the world’s highest paid athletes, said the intelligence report about kidnapping plots should have been given to him in confidentiality instead of being announced publicly.
Church today with my family. May God Bless everyone and have a blessed Sunday! pic.twitter.com/NJG1PJZoRT
— Manny Pacquiao (@mannypacquiao) April 24, 2016
Meanwhile, recent surveys for the upcoming May 9 election shows the eight-division champion has a good chance of winning.
He has represented southern Sarangani province in the Philippines’ House of Representatives since May 2010, but has been criticized for his poor attendance for legislative duties.
Pacquiao, a husband and father, is the Philippines’s most famous athlete. He landed a $125 million payout for his 2015 fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2015, even though he lost.
He retired after his unanimous decision victory against Timothy Bradley Jr. earlier this month.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.