Pacquiao’s presidential fitness suspect

By Al S. Mendoza


MANNY Pacquiao is angry when he shouldn’t be.

Aiming to become president of the republic?

You must be cool as a cat at all times.

You must be thick-faced.

You must kiss instead of kick-ass.

As a boxer, your anger must solely be devoted atop the ring.

Off the ring, act with dispatch, speak with caution and think broadly.

That is why when Pacquiao berated the Energy Secretary, my buloy Al Cusi, the boxer knocked out the senator in him.  He lost admirers just as fast.

Statesmen aren’t like that.

As a senator, isn’t Pacquiao cloaked with some degree of statesmanship?

In a privilege speech, Pacquiao criticized Cusi of politicking instead of fixing brownouts.

Very un-senator like.

Before that, Pacquiao questioned Cusi’s decision to call a PDP-Laban meeting without his consent.

As the party’s acting president following Koko Pimentel’s resignation, Pacquiao reminded Cusi that only the party chairman (President Duterte) or the party president has the power to call a meeting.

But Cusi, the vice chairman, countered that he was authorized by Mr. Duterte to call the PDP-Laban meeting on Monday in Cebu.

Mr. Duterte confirmed Cusi’s claim in a public briefing.

Lately, Pacquiao has been unloading self-promotional thrusts on social media depicting him as the savior of the Filipino people from poverty.

They help fan the flames of speculations that Pacquiao is bent on running for president in May 2022.

No surprise there.  For quite some time now, the boxer’s presidential ambition is an open book.

Again, nothing wrong as this is a free country.

Pacquiao is more than qualified to run.  His resume includes serving as a representative of Sarangani before winning as senator in 2016.

But before he could file his candidacy for president October 1-8, Pacquiao must be extra careful and deliberately conscious of his moves from here on.

He must build bridges of friendship, to begin with.

Surely, his verbal jabs on Cusi do not sit well with his party mates, and the people in general. His action is downright divisive and can fracture foundations built through the years.

Thus, as a first step towards mending party fences, Pacquiao should reach out to Cusi in a gallant show of humility in the name of reconciliation.

But is Pacquiao capable of acuity?

Will his braggadocio take the backseat this time?

Knowing Pacquiao, he is an extremely proud person—a weakness that has continually muddled his demeanor with every success he has amassed in boxing.

That’s why while he is a master atop the ring, his presidential fitness is suspect—severely.

His cheap critique on Cusi is too obvious to ignore.

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