Pacquiao as inspirational speaker

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Monday, January 13, 2014


LOOKS like Manny Pacquiao has a career waiting for him when he retires from boxing and politics.

Yesterday, I received an invitation from a friend to attend the boxing icon’s “sharing of his life story and dinner for a cause” at the Marco Polo Hotel on Jan. 23 for a price ranging from P1,800 to P2,200.

Not a single centavo of the proceeds will go to Pacquiao. My friend said it will all be used for the rehabilitation efforts in the areas ravaged by typhoon Yolanda. For those who want to listen to Pacquiao’s story but couldn’t afford the stiff price of the tickets, he has scheduled another talk the following day, Jan. 24 at the Hoops Dome in Lapu-Lapu City.

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In other countries, especially in the United States, celebrities, including former presidents and other high government officials, go on a lecture tour, usually after retirement and get paid for the effort.

Pacquiao has earned a lot of money to allow him to live comfortably when his boxing days are over. Not even the USA’s Internal Revenue Service and our Bureau of Internal Revenue, both of whom claim that the boxer has unpaid tax liabilities amounting to billions of pesos, can drive him bankrupt, I think. So if he joins the growing list of inspirational speakers in the future, it will not be for the money.

But what will he talk about that he thinks will inspire others? I don’t think it will be about jabs and straights or hooks and uppercuts. It will not inspire a lot of people whose boxing skills are inherently limited, anyway. Neither will a talk about his work in Congress which, to date, is unspectacular.

Pacquiao will most probably talk about his conversion from sinner to near saint. Until he began his Bible study sessions with a group of pastors, Pacquiao was rumored to have romantic affairs with a number of women. (I remember the time that he jogged at the Cebu City Sports Center oval when schoolgirls of the Abellana National School shouted from their classroom windows to ask him where was Ara Mina).

But I don’t think Manny is “kiss and tell” so don’t pay P2,200 if your only reason for attending is to listen to him not only admit his flings but also bare the details.

***

The Supreme Court has declared the pork barrel unconstitutional but left it to the conscience of individual legislators to decide what to do with the money, euphemistically called the PDAF, that is already in the budget this year, in the amount of P70 million for each congressman and P200 million for each senator.

The congressmen did not touch theirs and so did the senators, except nine of them, including Jinggoy Estrada who realigned half of his allocation to the City of Manila where his father is the mayor. (The eight others gave theirs to the Department of Health, the Department of Public Works and Highways and to the calamity fund.

I was happy when I heard that some of the congressmen were complaining only to realize that they were doing so for the wrong reasons.

They were angry not because Jinggoy was, to quote Sen. Antonio Trillanes, “reckless” but because had they known that Estrada would be permitted to do what he did, they would have done exactly the same thing, meaning allocate their “share” to their favorite local government units. Instead, they listened to Speaker Sonny Belmonte’s advice to keep their hands off the pork.

No such advice came from the Senate leadership, it seems. On the contrary, we have Sen. Chiz Escudero saying that what Jinggoy did was legal and that the congressmen
should observe inter-chamber courtesy.

I wonder what the Cebu Coalition Against the Pork Barrel has to say on this.

(frank.otherside@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 14, 2014.

Opinion

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