PASAY CITY (PhilAmPress) — Retired boxer and now Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao has shown his seriousness this early for his new calling in the Philippine Senate.
This as he attended a crash course on his new role as a senator and disclosed proposed measures that he would file in the Upper Chamber of Congress.
Pacquiao, one of the country’s top individual taxpayers and celebrity having been an actor, singer and basketball player and coach, has also been active in discussing issues affecting the people, including the proposed restoration of the death penalty, in support of the campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte to stop illegal drugs and crimes.
President Duterte himself was in attendance when he took his oath of office as senator in ceremonies held in Sarangani which he once represented as congressman of the lone district.
During the ceremonies, Duterte admitted that Pacquiao was one of the country’s leaders who convinced him to run for president.
But when Duterte was wishy washy with the decision, Pacquiao said he had to join the senatorial slate of then Vice President jejomar Binay.
In 2012, in a rare moment when he took the podium, he rejected the Reproductive Health Bill using religious reasoning that conveniently evaded the nuances of the proposed law. The bill, however, eventually was passed by Congress and has since become a law, although not fully implemented
Also during the campaign, he was battered due to his pronouncements that angered the LGBT community.
In answer to the issue on absenteeism, Pacquiao vowed he would do his work seriously as a legislator in case he wins as a senator.
He also clarified that while he frequented being absent in Congress, he did his work by helping the people of Sarangani and giving honor to the country through his boxing fights.
Despite the issues of absenteeism and his statement on gays, Pacquiao landed seventh in the Magic 12 getting several millions of votes.
And while the issues have been set aside, reports are out that he may yet take a leave in the Senate to fight this October in Las Vegas.
His promoter Bob Arum hinted of the planned leave so Pacquiao can prepare for his ring comeback.
But Pacquiao vehemently denied reports that he will return to the ring later this year, insisting that he is focused on his “legislative works.”ESPN earlier reported that according to Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, the “Pacman” is set to return on either October 29 or November 5 in Las Vegas, against a yet to be named opponent.
In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Pacquiao declared that “there is no truth to media reports that I’m planning to take a leave from my Senate duties just to fight again atop the ring.”
“I want to make it clear – my priority is my legislative works,” he said. “My next fight has not yet been discussed. Should there be any, I’ll make sure it will not interfere with my Senate duties.”
“When I ran for Senator last May 9 elections, I made a promise to be present in all sessions. I owe it to the people,” Pacquiao added. “If ever I decide to fight again, rest assured, it will happen when Congress is on recess, so there’s no need for me to go on leave.”
“He is going to fight. I don’t know what the date is. He is working with the President of the Philippines senate for an appropriate date where he can leave the Philippines for two or three weeks to prepare for the fight,” the Top Rank Inc. CEO told Boxing Scene’s Ryan Burton.
If Pacquiao decides to return to boxing, Arum said he will spend most of his training in the Philippines so he can still address his legislative duties.
“It is going to be an interesting thing but definitely he is looking to come back and the question is how can we arrange it,” he added.
Arum earlier disclosed they have reserved the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas for Pacquiao on October 15.
“We have the date, just to protect ourselves,” he said at the time.
Pacquiao announced his retirement from boxing shortly after beating Timothy Bradley in a trilogy bout last April, a month before the national elections. He eventually won a seat in the Senate, garnering more than 16 million votes.
An ABS-CBN report quoted Arum saying Adrien Broner is considered out of the running for a possible Pacquiao fight after the American boxer reportedly demanded a “ridiculous amount.”
“I was dealing with Al Haymon on making that fight. Al tried but Broner was asking for crazy money that nobody can afford so he is out and Manny is looking for another opponent,” said Arum.
Pacquiao has been mum on the planned return to the ring this October.