Why Manny Pacquiao’s Defeat to Floyd Mayweather Could Be a Win for the Philippines

My friends and countrymen, on May 2, 2015, I prepared my drink to either propose a toast to Pacquiao’s defeat or to consume in lamentation of his win (just as I did after the election of BS Aquino III). To my great delight, I drank in celebration due to Pacquiao’s loss, because his loss could actually be a win for the Filipino people. It just depends on whether or not they can realize that Pacquiao is not the entire Philippines, and that his significant impact is generally restricted to the arena of boxing and sports. Thus, he can scarcely be regarded as a great hero, especially in comparison to others (e.g., members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, who daily risk their lives to keep our country safe, teachers who educate our youth in order to be productive members of society, and single parents who fulfill both roles of mother and father in order to sustain the livelihood of themselves and their children).

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While many of his critics often focus on his shallow-minded fanatics, who elevate him close to deity status (creating the drunken stupor of Pacquiao-mania), I focus mostly on Pacquiao himself, his conduct, and its unintended consequences. It must be understood that in no way do I intend to diminish his role, achievements, or capability as a boxing champ. On the contrary, I intend to point out (as a concerned citizen) why his irresponsibility, poor work ethic, and dishonesty disqualify him from being a good citizen or role model for our public servants and countrymen.

First, I wish to point out how irresponsible Pacquiao has been as a congressman, due to his record for having the lowest attendance. In his first term (2010-2013), he was present for 98 out of 168 session days. Last year (2014), he was only present on four session days. Of course, this is all due to the requirements of his other job, namely boxing. Still, is this not a dereliction of duty in his role as a public servant? Even Pampangan Rep. Joseller “Yeng” Guiao (coach for Rain or Shine in the PBA) attended 65 out of 69 session days as of October of 2014.

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Such frequent absences have stifled important legislation, including the P2.6 trillion national budget for 2015. More recently, a House committee vote occurred on the passage of the controversial BBL (Bangsamoro Basic Law) in which Pacquiao approved its preamble. However, his presence for less than an hour prevented him from voting on the other provisions, nor was he present on the final voting day. As a result, Rep. Carol Lopez (Pacquiao’s close friend) claims he has decided to oppose the bill at the House plenary, upon his discovery that his district of Sarangani faces the prospect of becoming part of the Bangsamoro region at a later date.

Why couldn’t Pacquiao remain and fully participate in the voting of such a historical piece of legislation, which may or may not resolve the decades of war in Mindanao? Could Pacquiao’s low priority of public service be why our government is not taken seriously and has even been made a mockery? Where is the just compensation to taxpayers, who pay Pacquiao’s salary even when he is absent from Congress? Why not give his congressional seat to someone else who is actually dedicated to public service?

Apparently, I am not alone in my sentiments. Former Sen. Rene Saguisag suggested Pacquiao be suspended for his excessive absences. Public administration professor Prospero de Vera stated that Pacquiao was undermining his representation to his constituency. Even the third highest-ranking government official Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. approved Pacquiao’s wins, but stated in an interview, “I wish he’d be more involved [in the House of Representatives].” Hence, the adage that one cannot serve two masters, much less five (public service, boxing, acting, singing, and basketball coaching) rings true. Such an abysmal record of public service would surely jeopardize his prospects for higher office (such as the presidency) in the future, at least if informed voters can help it.

Second, ever since Pacquiao attributed his loss to his injured shoulder, it was revealed that he falsified one of his answers on a pre-fight medical questionnaire, indicating he did not have any injuries. As a result, more than 30 lawsuits have been filed in various states (including Nevada, California, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Illinois, Texas) on behalf of disgruntled people who purchased tickets to the “Fight of the Century” and purchased the pay-per-view event (roughly US $100).

Such dishonesty also infuriated gamblers who placed their bets on Pacquiao (millions of American dollars’ worth. “Who would have bet on Pacquiao,” asked Attorney Thomas Zimmerman (plaintiff), “if they knew he was injured?” The suits could amount to more than U.S. $5 million. Liable parties involved are Pacquiao, his trainer (Freddie Roach), his manager (Michael Koncz), his promotional company (Top Rank), Top Rank’s executives (Bob Arum and Todd Duboef), Floyd Mayweather, Mayweather Productions, fight producers (HBO and Showtime), and pay-per-view providers (AT & T, Comcast, and DirecTV)—a dilemma which could have been prevented had Pacquiao been sincere and considerate to all stakeholders.

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Third, either Pacquiao is greedy or lacks a sense of priority in his career. Perhaps Pacquiao is an opportunist and will accept as many roles and jobs as possible at the expense of the others, as if to say, “Hey, look at me! I’m the great ‘Pac-Man’! I can do anything!” If that is the case, then his lack of focus may have cost Pacquiao the last match. Attorney and boxing analyst Ed Tolentino pointed out on Headstart:

His attention span right now is so diversified. In fact, had he focused solely on boxing, not with his extra-curricular activities, I thought he could have beaten Floyd Mayweather. I saw the Manny Pacquiao who had his attention focused solely on boxing. I also saw the Manny Pacquiao whose attention was diversified. I compared the two, and believe me; it’s Jekyll and Hyde!

More important is Pacquiao’s neglect of public service in Congress, which holds wider ramifications for the entire country. Aside from his dereliction of duty and stifling of significant legislation, he is establishing an unfavorable precedent for other public servants to emulate. Such neglect may even enhance the general public’s pre-existing apathy or distrust towards the institution of government and the rule of law.

During the 2012 American presidential elections, the multi-billionaire business tycoon Donald Trump joined the race. However, he shortly dropped out upon realizing his commitment to his ongoing TV show The Apprentice. Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger both renounced their acting careers in order to serve their terms as governor of California. The former eventually became one of America’s greatest presidents, while the latter resumed his acting career after his gubernatorial term expired. If those renowned personalities can transfer their dedication from one career to another, why can’t Pacquiao?

If it is not about dedication, then could it be that he is just hungry for political power or greedy to expand the Pacquiao dynasty? After all, Rogelio Pacquiao (Manny’s brother) is chairman of Barangay Apopong, while another brother (Bobby) is a councilor in Barangay Labangal. Lorelei (Bobby’s wife) serves as chairperson of that barangay, and Manny’s wife (Jinkee) is vice-governor of Sarangani, the same district represented by Manny. To be fair to the Pacquiaos, I do not oppose dynasties, insofar as their members are fairly and democratically elected and serve the interests of their constituents. However, when they are self-serving or hold power only for namesake, I oppose them and any office holder—dynasty clan or not.

Now that I have expressed my grievances, here are some practical alternatives. At his current age of 36, he could retire from boxing and continue his political career in Congress. As he establishes more political credibility, he could then pursue the Senate, followed by the presidency in 2022 (when he will be of legal age). If he chooses to renounce his political career for boxing, he can still have a positive impact in his charity as he currently does. Even former American presidentiable Mitt Romney has fought former heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield in a charity boxing match on May 15, 2015.

However, if Pacquiao is equally passionate about fighting and public service, he can join the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation), PNP (Philippine National Police), or he could make full use of his rank as lieutenant colonel in the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines). They certainly could use such an agile warrior to combat and capture members of terrorist groups like Abu Sayyaf and the New People’s Army. Or if he gets weary of boxing, he can acquire new combat skills in mixed martial arts and join the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). That would probably work to his economic advantage, since disgruntled boxing fans may no longer desire to view his matches.

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Furthermore, let me return to the main issue of Pacquiao’s loss being a potential win for the country. Each of his defeats and the consequent prolonged depression or dismay of his fans are analogous to a shabu addict’s defeat to a caring colleague in a battle for his jeepney keys. Each time the intoxicated driver picks passengers up and continues driving, he puts the safety and well-being of them, himself, and the public at great risk. By Pacquiao’s excessive absence and lack of participation in the legislative process, he puts the safety and general welfare of our country at risk.

The difference is that Pacquiao and his cult of fanatics are comparable to the single, intoxicated jeepney driver, since such fanatics are the ones who elected Pacquiao into Congress, thus subjecting him to his perpetual neglect of public service. Rather than our countrymen choosing to face the hardships of their daily life and improve their personal and social conditions (e.g., mental and moral laziness, lack of discipline, poverty, unemployment, political apathy), they choose to escape reality into a temporary, euphoric world of fantasy, in which their well-being and “Pinoy pride” depend largely on the victory of one Filipino in a boxing ring.

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Hence, a defeat of Pacquiao in the ring could be a sobering turning point, just like with the jeepney driving shabu addict, whose defeat may have saved many lives. That is precisely why I will continue to rejoice in each one of Pacquiao’s losses, until both he and his cult of fanatics awaken from their drunken stupor of Pacquiao-mania. That would, indeed, be a big win for our country for which we may rightfully claim “Pinoy pride,” and the “Fight of the Century” could also be known as the “Philippine Win of the Century.”

Cheers!

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About Marcial Bonifacio

I seek to make the Philippines a better place by keeping our kababayans informed and inspired. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!

Post Author: Marcial Bonifacio

I seek to make the Philippines a better place by keeping our kababayans informed and inspired. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!

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31 Comments on "Why Manny Pacquiao’s Defeat to Floyd Mayweather Could Be a Win for the Philippines"

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Bing Bong
Guest
MAYBE, Filipino’s will realize Paquiao’s limits.He was the best 135lb boxer of the his generation and when he moved up in weight-to say 147LBs., he stopped KO’in guys 15 yrs. older than he was at the time (Mosely) and a Bull-shit catchweight 150 LBS’ weight limit in a 154 LBS. Super-welterweight fight is a bogus belt(Margarhito) .That fighting dehydrated super-welterweight/junior middlewieghts (Cotto) at catctchweights of 144 lbs., for another WBO-gus welterweight title is just as bit a scam as almost all his fights above 135LBS.,except Hatton,who was a bum anyway. Maybe Filipino’s will wake up to the fact that a… Read more »
Bing Bong
Guest
Paquiao should have become an American citizen,for taxation reasons.Now with his debts to the IRS in the USA, and the BIR in the Fail-ippines,as well as his newly found law suits because he just could not keep his big mouth shut ,when it mattered most to say NOTHING,after the fight HE LOST(he could have claimed the injury happened DURING the fight,YES? but he is both too proud and too stoopid to do that!)I predict,if he isn’t careful he’ll end up like Ali (Boxing way too long, to pay tax problems and law suits off) and walk into Sarangani province one… Read more »
Marcial Bonifacio
Guest

To be fair to Pacquiao, what about the treaty between the US and the Philippines, which prevents his money from being taxed twice? Doesn’t that give him some exemption?

BING BONG
Guest

@Marical, Sorry, but NO..it doesn’t.But fighting in China does.That is why a few of his recent fights were in Macau.Less tax due,Paquiao has money problems….he does…and he is now getting sued coz he just couldn’t shut up and take another loss.

chumachil
Guest

He should be appointed as head of the Philipine Olympic Committee, but meh, he’s too trapo.

707Hayden0087Toro
Guest

The Dude Pacquiao is a Boxer, not a Politician.
Why did his constituents elected him anyway?

His main profession is boxing. He sidelined only as a Congressman. Now, you ignorant Dudes are complaining…

Marcial Bonifacio
Guest

Mentally lazy, uninformed voters in the midst of the information age deserve the politicians and government they elect. That includes incompetent politicians as Pacquiao.

Dale Gozar
Guest

Popular Actors/Media/Sports Celebrities – whose nature of work is movies/TV (fantasy or not real world), often Lack of political acumen due to poor observation & awareness (spoiled) of the real problems of our country. An actor/boxer/newscaster turned politicians can easily be manipulated (puppet) by people around him.

Just because someone is popular (name recognition & charisma to capture votes and manipulate our mass with looks, smooth talk, act, sing or dance and box around important issues) doesn’t make him a good President.

Marcial Bonifacio
Guest

It is unfortunate that the Pinoy masa appeal mostly to such trivial qualities as charisma, superb oratory skills, showmanship in entertainment, etc. However, I would advise any of our competent, qualified politicians to display such qualities at least for the purpose of campaigning. It is important to differentiate governing from campaigning, and unless there is an effective effort for the latter, the former will likely never be come into fruition.

Naknak
Guest

Great article! Keep it coming.

Marcial Bonifacio
Guest

Maraming salamat po.

d_forsaken
Guest

Winning isn’t everything–but wanting to win is. You cannot expect victory and plan for defeat.

Marcial Bonifacio
Guest

To whom are you referring is planning for defeat?

Grimwald
Member

Love it Marcial…

Thanks to you, I think I’m going to write another parody article…

Grimwald
Member

Keep it up by the way! I’d like to see more of your writing!

Marcial Bonifacio
Guest

Maraming salamat, kaibigan ko. Sa totoo lang, it was the articles of you and Chino who inspired me to write a critical commentary on Pacquiao himself and his contribution to false “Pinoy pride.” Samakatuwid, I credit you both here. Gayunpaman, I look forward to your next article.

Grimwald
Member
Marcial Bonifacio
Guest

Grimwald, I’ll check it out. So far, the “watdapak” part is catchy. Hahaha!

Bubbli
Guest

Congratulations for a stupendous job Mr. Marcial,very interesting to know about Pacquiao’s dark side of his life,I don’t see any positive qualities in him which would make him an ideal politician.

Marcial Bonifacio
Guest
Indeed, if every politician were closely examined by logical, rational-minded voters, neither Pacquiao nor many others would hold public office. If he really cared about Pilipinos or the Philippines, then he would put himself in a position wherein he could maximize his efforts. However, he has put himself in a position whereby he has so many commitments that it is impossible to fulfill all of them, which is precisely what restricts him from fully improving the lives of Pilipinos or serving the country. As I stated in the commentary, he has several practical options. He just needs to utilize his… Read more »
Marcial Bonifacio
Guest
Indeed, if every politician were closely examined by logical, rational-minded voters, neither Pacquiao nor many others would hold public office. If he really cared about Pilipinos or the Philippines, then he would put himself in a position wherein he could maximize his efforts. However, he has put himself in a position whereby he has so many commitments that it is impossible to fulfill all of them, which is precisely what restricts him from fully improving the lives of Pilipinos. As I stated in the commentary, he has several practical options. He just needs to utilize his brain (rather than his… Read more »
Bubbli
Guest

Agree Mr Marcial,if Pacquiao has made his choices already then the smart voters need to show him their choice by picking the right candidate who will serve the country better.

Marcial Bonifacio
Guest

The same holds true of the presidential election of BS Aquino and Barack Obama in the U.S. They were both elected largely by uninformed voters, who bought into the rhetoric of the latter’s “hope and change” and Aquino’s slogan that “If there’s no corruption, there is no poverty.”

Bubbli
Guest

That reminds me of Aesop’s words,he said”We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to the public office”

Marcial Bonifacio
Guest

Hahaha! Unfortunately, that seems to be true, Bubbli. However, there is still much the Philippines can learn from America, even with the tyrannical government of Obama. At least they have wised up and put better public servants in during the 2014 midterm elections. 2016 should not be less impressive with a Republican in the White House.

Mei
Guest

This is a great article, Marcial. Most of us were focused on only one side of Manny Pacquiao. This would help enlighten, young and old, that he did not only fail to win this fight but also he’s failing in his other “battles”.
*raise hands* I was (made aware)!

Looking forward to more articles.

Marcial Bonifacio
Guest

Salamat, Mei. Nagagalak ako my commentary has given you a different perspective of Pacquiao. Sana it will have the same effect with others, para they may make wiser decisions when electing public officials, which affects all of us.

Sari Aya Malaya
Guest
Interesting article Mr. Bonifacio, and very timely too. Very recently, Mr. Pacquiao announced his senatorial bid for next year’s Philippine elections. This is a very powerful tool or an eye opener for most Filipinos including myself, who look up to the boxing champ as a supernatural being or a larger than life hero capable of, if not uplifting Filipinos’ lives, at least alleviating them from their current plight. It is quite understandable though, why we look up at him that way. In a country where poverty, inequalities and corruption are the air that we breath day in and day out,… Read more »
Marcial Bonifacio
Guest
Sari Aya Malaya, salamat sa papuri at palagay mo. Tungkol sa paksang mahirap, inequality, at kabulukan, sabi mo it is quite understandable why our kababayans look up to Pacquiao. Sa kabilang banda, that is precisely why they should condemn him for perpetuating the status quo. On another note, some people are more psychologically mature than others, even though they may be the same chronological age. Also, some learn lessons sooner than others. Perhaps Pacquiao has finally matured. A few days ago, I read an article in the Inquirer titled “Pacquiao to hang gloves if elected” (http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/728934/pacquiao-to-hang-gloves-if-elected). When the issue of… Read more »
Sari Aya Malaya
Guest

Tumpak kaibigan. Unti-unti nang nagbubunga ng pagbabago at kabutihan ang mga adhikain mo. Nobody is ever so small to impact change. Every one can make a difference. Nawa’y patuloy mong papag-alabin ang diwa ng kabayanihan sa puso ng bawat Pilipino!

Marcial Bonifacio
Guest

Tama ka tungkol sa pagbabago, Sari. It should start with proper education and diversity sa mga palagay. That would include alternative perspectives to the pervasive “Pinoy pride” and “pakikisama” mentality. Ito ang mga lathala from bloggers Ilda and FallenAngel, who address this issue:

http://antipinoy.com/filipinos-and-happiness-why-we-need-to-be-serious-about-it/

http://getrealphilippines.com/blog/2015/05/why-i-am-not-proud-to-be-filipino/

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