It’s now Pacquiao versus Sec. Cusi

By June 14, 2021Sports Eye

By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.


THE forthcoming world welterweight title fight of Philippine boxing icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao against American World Boxing Council (WBC) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) champ, the unbeaten 31-year-old Errol Spence, Jr. will definitely be held at MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 22 (PH time). This as negotiations between the ballyhooed Pacquiao versus the undefeated World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight titleholder 32-year-old Terence Crawford went zilch due to funding woes by Abu Dhabi.

Pacman said that win or loss over Spence, he’ll retire. But I don’t think so. Maybe if he lose. But if he wins, big money is at stake for him to battle Crawford. Let’s wait and see.

Outside the ring, Sen. Pacquiao recently encountered his co-lawmaker Sen. Pia Cayetano anent Pacman’s proposal to organize an independent body for ‘contact sports’ like boxing, taekwondo, karate, wrestling, judo, which the lady senator opposed, citing favoritism for contact sports. Yes, being a former professional cycling athlete for countless years, I have to side with Sen. Pia this time. In my perception, the concept of Sen. Manny is obviously biased and prejudicial to other sports, like basketball, volleyball, baseball, lawn tennis, cycling, to name some. It’s really unfair.

After Sen. Pia, Sen. Manny shifted his tirades in his privilege speech weeks ago and castigated Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi over our power problems hounding Luzon islands especially Metro Manila that suffered the most outages amid soaring temperatures. Yes, we felt that too, days ago. Among the senators, it was Pacquiao who was so concerned and very vocal against Cusi, whom he accused of attending first to politics instead of the power problem that inconvenienced most Luzon residents (including me). The brown-outs also risked the disruption of government’s ongoing inoculation nationwide program. The frequent power failures undoubtedly affected millions of household families, trade and industries that rely on power efficiency.

“It is saddening to think that some of our officials, who are supposed to attend to the situation, to our problems, are prioritizing politics,” the 42-year-old lawmaker and world boxing champ said, pertaining directly to Secretary Cusi.

This time I’ll side with Pacman. If you remember about five years ago, Secretary Cusi proudly announced to the national media that “there are no looming power disruptions in the offing,” but here we are – suffering multiple brownouts. Hopefully this issue will be solved immediately, and I believe it will because Pacman found allies in the Senate on the issue.

First to side with Pacman was Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III. He backed Pacquiao’s proposal to resume the Senate probe on the state’s energy situation. Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, chair of the Senate committee on energy, echoed Sen. Pimentel’s proposal saying that many towns in Metro Manila and nearby provinces were caught off guard about the power failure including the places with ongoing vaccinations, while Cusi was attending a political meeting. Senator Grace Poe was also so concerned about the public’s ire over the brownouts in the country that impact on investor’s confidence, not only over the shortage of power supply but the high cost of electricity in the country.

I agree. This should be solved promptly or this will add another big headache to our beleaguered President Duterte.

Obviously, Pacquiao is doing his job not only inside the ring, but also does his homework inside the chamber. He’s not like former Senator the actor Lito Lapid, whom many of his fans jokingly call, “chairman of the committee on silence.”

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK:  “Then the Lord will bring upon you and your descendants extraordinary plagues—great and prolonged plagues—and serious and prolonged sicknesses. DEUTERONOMY 28: 59

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