President Pacquiao (?)
November 16, 2010 Leave a comment
We are all fresh from the 8th world championship clinched by the “Pambansang Kamao”, boxing icon and Saranggani Congressman Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao. Boxing and non-boxing fans alike were awed by his stellar athleticism during his bout against Antonio Margarito, who is now in a Texas hospital due to a skull fracture near his eye.
We can never dismiss Pacquiao’s contribution to uplifting the Filipino spirit amid the tragedies our nation has faced over the past few months. Pacquiao not only brought the Filipino nation back to the map of the world in a positive color, but has put the province of Saranggani, the province-district Pacquiao represents in the House of Representatives, to a reputable spot in the global stage.
As a politician, Congressman Pacquiao posed a landmark victory in one of the Philippines’ most dynastic provinces, Saranggani province. After decades of rule, Pacquiao was able to defeat Roy Chiongbian, part of the influential and affluent Chiongbian clan of Saranggani. Though not a native of the province (Saranggani was the home province of Manny’s wife, Jinky) and being freshly defeated from a congressional bout in his own province (defeated in 2007 by then-Congresswoman Darlene Antonino-Custodio, 1st District-South Cotabato w/ General Santos City), Manny managed to win the 2010 polls. Pacquiao ran under the People’s Champ Movement.
As an incumbent legislator, Congressman Pacquiao is the Vice Chairman for the Committees on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Youth and Sports Development. He is member of several other committees for the majority. He is the author of legislation which, when passed, will bar celphone companies from sending unsolicited messages to its subscribers. He also authored a bill establishing breast centers in every region of the country.
Pacquiao is known in the chamber to be a very industrious congressman, never missing a session unless important, and delivering privilege speeches every so often.
PACQUIAO AND POLITICS
Pacquiao’s heroic rise to the athletic ladder prompted him to have influential and powerful political friends. The Filipino nation knows the close ties of Cong. Pacquiao to Ilocos Sur Governor Luis “Chavit” Singson, and former Manila Mayor Lito Atienza. In fact, Manny did not attend the Hero’s Welcome in Manila organized by Atienza’s nemesis, Mayor Alfredo Lim.
Pacquiao is also a known to be a close ally of former President and now his Congress colleague, Rep. Gloria M. Arroyo (Pampanga-2nd). The latter is, contrary to COng. Pacquiao, a member of the minority.
PACQUIAO AND THE PRESIDENCY
With his latest victory, some sectors project that Manny Pacquiao, given sufficient political training and political maturity, he can run for higher political position. Prof. Edna Co of UP sees Pacquiao in the executive, and that aspirations for the presidency is not far from happening. But the congressman, in an interview, shrugged those clamors and told the media that he is focused on delivering projects to his province-district.
Sarangani is the 8th poorest province in the Philippines according to the 2007 National Poverty Map of the Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF).