Pacquiao ‘out-punched’ on Senate floor
This refers to the news item, “Arum options for Pacman: Horn, Broner or Crawford” (Sports, 3/17/17).
It is now clear that Sen. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, also known as “Pacman,” has reneged on his campaign promise to concentrate on his work as senator.
Anyone of his possible opponents, as enumerated by boxing promoter Bob Arum, is one too many. Since fights featuring professional boxers are scheduled several months apart due to necessary intensive preparations and sparring practices, it will take at least a year for all possible bouts with the three fighters to take place.
Doubtless, boxing is what Pacquiao does best.
But “best” cannot be said about Pacquiao’s performance in the Senate. Watching him debate with veteran legislator Sen. Franklin Drilon, we could only empathize with him unable to hide his discomfiture during their exchange. He delivered the opening blows when he presented on the Senate floor his proposed bill seeking to create a Philippine Boxing Commission.
The “barrage of counterblows” from Drilon during the interpellation sent Pacquiao reeling and scampering for help from his “dictators” who were behind him, but whose coaching obviously made him even more confused. He stood helplessly, looking around for the help that did not come, and when it did, he could only mutter unintelligible words, stammer and look even more pitiable.
Irritated, he blurted out an unparliamentary statement highlighting his boxing abilities—a statement which does not have a place in the Senate hall—saying that “the Gentleman from Iloilo does not understand boxing.”
Drilon accepted the remark graciously but “punched” back, saying: “I may not understand boxing like the honorable colleague from South Cotabato (or something to that effect) does, but certainly we understand governing and government.”
This part of the exchange reminded me about Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel when she was asked what she thought of German sports greats entering politics. Germany had produced sports heroes like Boris Becker and Steffi Graf of tennis; Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg of Formula 1; and the many football players who made the country win the World Cup four times, to mention just a few.
“We respect the talents and abilities of our German athletes and recognize the honor they have given our country. They should better concentrate on what they do best and leave the job of governance to the politicians,” answered Merkel.
Pacquiao would do well to ponder and heed those words.
RAMON MAYUGA, firstname.lastname@example.org
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