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List of Articles by Eddie Alinea


 

MANNY PACQUIAO FOR PRESIDENT

By Eddie Alinea
PhilBoxing.com
22 Dec 2016



“When he’s 35, he can run for Senate,” boxing promoter Bob Arum declared of his prized ward, Manny Paquiao following the Filipino icon’s winning a congressional seat in the 2010 elections.

On the same occasion, the 85-year-old Harvard law graduate and founder and CEO of Top Rank Promotions, added: “And when he’s 40, I am sure he’ll be President of the Philippines.”

Six years later last May, the only man in history to win championship belts in eight weight divisions, Pacquiao’s countrymen made true Arum’s words by gifting hi, too, a seat in the Philippine Senate.

Last Saturday, during the celebration of Pacquiao’s 38th birthday, no less than President Rodrigo Duterte himself virtually endorsed the first and only man, so far, to have been accorded “Fighter of the Decade” honor by the Boxing Writers Association of America to be his successor when he stepped down from his office as the nation’s Chief Executive six years from now.

Manny Pacquiao for President, why not? He, after all, has been serving the country more than most of the politicians his 100 million plus fellow citizens know the past 21 years through the only way he can – boxing.

The kind of service he has already translated as a two term Congressman representing the lone district of Sarangani Province, thus, earning the distinction as the one and only sitting member of the Lower House of Congress to emerge boxing world champion.

As lawmaker for six years, this boxing dynamo, known also as Pacman, the “Mexicutioner,” the “Destroyer”, the “Pacific Storm,” the “People’s Champ” and the “Pambansang Kamao,” has never been involved in raiding the public treasury by using the DAP or PDAF to implement his projects for his constituents.

He instead dug deep from his own pockets using hard-earned money from exchanging punches, banging bodies and heads with opponent atop the ring to build houses for the poor, school houses for children, hospitals, roads, bridges, street lights, provided jobs and motor boats for fishermen, among others.

This poor kid born in far away, rebel-infested town of Kibawe in the Southern Philippine province of Bukidnon, who grew up in General Santos City in South Cotabato, went to Manila to help mother Dionisia rear a brood of five other children.

The then 14-year-old worked as a construction helper while in the Big City, sell cigarettes and candies on the streets and flowers in front of the churches when not fighting, persevere to become the face of the sport of sweet science, the greatest and most exciting fighter since Muhammad Ali.

His charisma and outstanding accomplishments in the world’s sporting capitals earned for him the love of his fellow Filipinos and respect of the rest of planet earth so that whenever he fights, the entire nation comes to full stop, celebrates when he wins and cries when he loses.

That makes him he only government official of note and Filipino, for that matter, to look capable of uniting this nation, which has been divided since one can remember.

Pacquio is married to former beauty queen Sarangani Vice Gov. Maria Geraldine “Jinkee” Jamora with whom he has five children – Jimuel, Michael, Princess, Queenie and Israel.

Pacquiao first ran for a seat in the Lower House in 2007 and lost not because of lack of popularity but because of fear of his countrymen that if he won , he’d stop fighting and in the process, lost their chance of becoming happy again.

He tried again in 2010, winning this time and was re-elected in 2013.

After his electoral victory in 2010, Pacquiao, in an interview with this writer, disclosed his plans to use his national hero status to make a difference as a government servant. He even abhor being called a politician because of what he said bad connotation attached to the word.

“I want to be a government servant. The people idolise me in boxing,” he said. “I want them o idols me in terms of public service. I believe in social accountability. I can help change the system.”

“I’m not like many politicians who are corrupt,” he stressed. “I already have money and I’m satisfied with what I have earned from my blood and sweat in boxing. What I want to do is bring government money back to the poor.”

“Our poor people need a government with a heart. To help them uplift from their suffering. With popularity comes responsibilities,” he remarked. “You have to give time to the people who support you.”

To prepare himself for government service, Pacquiao enrolled in the certificate course in Development Legislation and Governance at the Development Academy of the Philippines.


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