Friday, September 24, 2021

Mendoza: Pacquiao fights in a strange arena


All Write

YOU may not be aware of it but Manny Pacquiao has a fight scheduled on July 17, 2021. Not atop the ring, though. Off it.

And, this time, he might lose it. He’d need almost a miracle to avoid a knockout.

I refer to today’s much-heralded meeting of the PDP-Laban—a political party of which Pacquiao is much a part of.

“He is not the party’s acting president,” Sen. Koko Pimentel told Ted Failon during Ted’s TV 5 program, Friday, July 16, 2021. “Sen. Pacquiao is the president now because when I left as party president in December, he was, as the executive vice president, my logical successor. Calling him the acting president was wrong from the very start.”

Today’s party meeting was organized by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, the PDP-Laban vice chairman. He was the same man who called and presided over the party’s May 31 meeting in Cebu.

“That meeting in Cebu was null and void,” Koko told Ted.

Fighting words. That gathering was recognized by President Rodrigo Duterte, the party chairman.

Koko has always been a PDP-Laban giant simply because his father, the late Sen. Nene Pimentel, founded the PDP (Pilipino Democratic Party). He allied it with Laban (Lakas ng Bayan), the party founded by the late Sen. Ninoy Aquino, in 1982. The core principle of the PDP-Laban was to fight the Marcos dictatorship to restore “freedom, justice and peace.”

For being a sudden champion of anti-corruption issues, zeroing in on alleged graft in the Duterte administration, Pacquiao has become the proverbial fly in the ointment.

The last blow Pacquiao unleashed was to kick Cusi and two other leaders out of PDP-Laban for endorsing Mr. Duterte as the party’s vice presidential bet together with a non-party member (Mayor Sara) as the President’s running mate in the May 2022 polls.

Koko is Pacquiao’s Freddie Roach off the ring. Cusi is backed by, who else, but the President.

A senator for five years now, and a Sarangani representative before finishing 7th in the 2016 senatorial election, Pacquiao is still relatively a political newbie. Unwise to the ways of big time intramurals.

If he survives today’s meeting as to avoid getting knocked out as party president, well and good. But as to why he’s filled his plate with more than he could chew -- isn’t he also up against unbeaten Errol Spence Jr. on August 21? -- isn’t a puzzle worth Einstein’s while.


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