Pacquiao kidnap threat: Police arrest suspects as boxing star continues Senate campaign

The boxing star mingles with voters with practically no visible security detail around.

Philippines boxing legend Manny Pacquiao pledged to go ahead with his Senate campaign despite being shocked by a terrorist threat to kidnap him.

Meanwhile, the Philippines National Police said suspects have been arrested over the alleged plot to bomb the Metro Manila stations and kidnap Pacquiao and television host Kris Aquino.

The rumours of a kidnap plot came after it emerged that the Abu Sayyaf militants, who fight for an Islamic State in the southern provinces of the country, beheaded a Canadian hostage.

Pacquiao, who recently stoked rumours of his return from retirement after a scintillating win over challenger Timothy Bradley, campaigned in Laguna province on Thursday.

The local media said the boxing star, who is currently a Philippines Congress member, mingled with voters with practically no visible security detail around.

Pacquiao shook hands with supporters in the villages and took selfies with them. He said he did not ignore reports about the terror plot to kidnap him though he did not believe any such plan was in place.

Outgoing President Benigno Aquino III made the revelation earlier saying he was himself the target of a terror plot.

The president said Abu Sayyaf militant group would try to abduct himself, his sister who is a popular actress and Pacquiao in order to negotiate the release of jailed militants.

"I was alarmed when he announced... the Abu Sayyaf wanted to kidnap me. I'm surprised because all Filipinos are my friends. I love them, especially the Muslims," Pacquiao said, reacting to reports of the kidnap plan.

Pacquiao confirmed he asked for security protection for his kids and the family. He however, expressed his skepticism over the terror plan, saying he has friendly relations with the southern Muslims.

"In fact, we support them. We give them livelihood so I don't know where that came from," he said.

"I live my life like every day is the last so I have no fear. God is with me," Pacquiao, an evangelical Christian, said, according to the Inquirer.

Opinion polls indicate that Pacquiao has a strong chance of winning a Philippines senate seat in the May 9 elections.