CAMPO RANAW, Marawi City -- Senator Manny Pacquiao on Saturday morning, July 29, visited troops here saying he is ready to join in the front lines, if invited, to help the military in fighting against terrorism in Mindanao.
Pacquiao said in jest that he is prepared to join the armed forces who are now fighting against the Maute-Isis terrorist group since the siege in May 23.
“Gusto kong sumama sa inyo sa labanan. Gusto n’yo ba ‘yun? Kaya lang, kapag sumama ako sa inyo ay may mangyari sa akin, wala na kayo’ng mapapanood sa babaw ng ring (I want to join in your fight. Do you want that? But if I join and something happens to me, you won't see me fight in the boxing ring),” Pacquiao added.
The senator said he visited Marawi City to show his sympathy to the soldiers who were killed in the operations.
He added that he appreciated their sacrifices to liberate the city and bring back peace in Mindanao.
“Masakit din sa amin ‘yun. Masakit para sa akin dahil hindi mo na maibabalik ‘yung buhay nila. Dalawang kamay salute ako sa ating mga kasundaluhan na lumalaban at hindi sumusuko (It's painful for us. It's painful for me that I can't bring back their lives. I give a two-hand salute for our soldiers who fought and never gave up),” the senator said.
“Huwag tayong sumuko. Ipaglaban natin ang tama. Kasi kapag sumuko tayo, hindi gaganda ang ating bansa. Maraming salamat sa inyong pakikipaglaban para sa kapayapaan ng ating bansa, para sa kapakanan ng maraming mamamayang Pilipino (Let's not give up. Let's fight for what's right. Our country will go down if we give up. Thank you for fighting for peace and for the Filipinos),” Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao is the first senator who visited Marawi City after the crisis started last May 23. He is a military reservist with a rank of Lieutenant Colonel of the Reserve Force of the Philippine Army.
He first joined the reserve force of the Army on April 2006 as sergeant.
He was then promoted to technical sergeant, master sergeant and to senior master sergeant.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on July 31, 2017.