LETTERS FROM DAVAO

By Jun Ledesma

SENATOR Manny Pacquiao has been going around recently in what he asserts as a way to help those in need. There is nothing wrong with that. Manny, the legendary boxing hero is known to be generous to his friends. His sudden and recent act of charity, however, is tainted with politics. He has been named acting president of PDP-LABAN and is making the rounds of the country which fuels speculations he is vying to run for President in 2022.  

Boxing is one thing, running a country is another. I think the Pacman has enough gray matters between his ears that could trigger him to think that the Presidency is not his cup of tea. He thinks that governing a country is nothing different from running a barangay. It’s like thinking if he wins eight different boxing titles why can’t he win as President. In real life, Manny won several local government elective posts including his incumbency as Senator. He forgot, moreover, that those posts are so small to return a debt of local and national gratitude for bringing honors to the country as a victorious pugilist.  But the Presidency? My mother-in-law would tell him: “Ano ka hilo (Are you dizzy)?”

Does he want more than being President of PDP-Laban which has yet to be confirmed by the ruling party in a Convention? Did not somebody advise him that being President of the party does not mean he is going to be the standard-bearer of the party too?  

Aside from the Korean noodle cups as his way of demonstrating his affection for the poor, several billboards endorsing him as President have sprouted overnight.  And then quietly, too , Pacquiao unceremoniously replaced Manny Lumanao the Regional Chairman of PDP-Laban in Caraga with Johnny Pimentel. Does Manny Pacquiao have the authority to do so?  My gosh, he is like a bull rampaging in a china shop!

What is the boxing icon up to?  Was there something in his subconscious that suddenly perked him up to think that “pang-Presdente na siya?” Recall that some time ago in November 2016, fresh from his successful bid to regain the welterweight belt, he proceeded to Malacanang to pay a courtesy call on President Rodrigo Duterte. The moment they came face-to-face, Duterte raised his hands and to humor, the Pacman said, “Pang Presidente na ito ah”.

I admire Manny Pacquiao, his life story, his virtues. Like all Filipinos, we all put him on a pedestal of fame as the greatest Filipino icon in the world of boxing. The Presidency? It’s entirely another story.  Beware of the elixir that may come with your quest for a higher post. As in the tales of yore, it might come from the wily enemy. 

About the Columnist

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Mr. Jun Ledesma is a community journalist who writes from Davao City and comments from the perspective of a Mindanaoan.