'Inspired' Army prepares honors for 'Lt.Col.Pacquiao'

The boxer-lawmaker, seen here in file photo, is also a soldier: The Army is preparing honors for Pacquiao when he returns from Macau.
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA - (UPDATE 7:00PM) The Philippine Army will confer honors on world boxing icon Manny “Pacman” Paquiao for his conquest of Brandon Rios in a 12-round unanimous decision in Macau on Sunday. Relatedly, two neophyte senators praised the boxer's comeback, saying he united Filipinos in the face of so much adversity.

“Manny Pacquiao will be accorded necessary honors and due recognition upon his return,” Army spokesman Capt. Anthony Bacus said of Mindanao’s famous southpaw, a lieutenant colonel of the Army’s Reserve Force.

Bacus said the Army “rejoices with the whole country as Manny Pacquiao once again made the Filipino people proud and proved that he is really the Peoples’ Champ by winning in this much anticipated fight with Brandon Rios.”

Pacquiao’s win, coming after two losses, is something Filipinos badly need “especially during these trying times,” he added.

The office of Chief of Staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista said Pacquiao’s comeback win “will serve as an inspiration to all of us” especially the victims of super-typhoon “Yolanda”.

The COS’ statement said: “Coming from a loss, Pacquiao knows how to stand up better and stronger, and this trait of his will surely inspire the survivors of typhoon Yolanda to do the same. The whole Armed Forces of the Philippines congratulates and is all-out in its support to our boxing champion, as he continues to soldier on in his boxing career and bring honor to the Filipino people,” the statement said.

The free-of-charge screenings of the Paquiao-Rios bout were held in three locations inside the Army camp: Army General Hospital’s (AGH) Multi-purpose Hall, Philippine Army Officers Club House, and NCO Club House.

The hospital’s Multipurpose Hall can accommodate about 200 persons. Soldiers being treated at the hospital for battle wounds were given priority to watch the fight.

The Philippine Army Officers Club House and the NCO Club House accommodated about 100 to 150 persons.

Bacus noted how, “being an Army reservist, Manny Pacquiao never fails to inspire his fellow soldiers.”

Pacquiao, also a Sarangani congressman, was enlisted in the Reserve Force of the Philippine Army in the rank of Sergeant on April 27, 2006. He currently holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and is designated as the Executive Officer of the 1st Sarangani Ready Reserve Battalion.

Pacquiao united Filipinos - senators

Two neophyte solons congratulated “Pambansang Kamao” Pacquiao and thanked him for notching a victory that united Filipinos despite the recent calamities that struck the country.

Senator Nancy Binay on Sunday said that Pacquiao’s convincing win has served as an inspiration for all Filipinos that, despite pressure and the challenges, they can still survive and emerge victorious.

“My sincerest congratulations to Congressman Manny Pacquiao. Again, you have united our country to believe that we, as Filipinos, can weather and overcome all odds,” Binay said.

“The recent calamities that struck the Philippines - the 7.2 magnitude earthquake and Super Typhoon Yolanda - exhibited our resiliency and our fighting spirit; and [showed] that we can still stand up and be united as a nation, she added.

Senator Juan Edgardo Angara, on the other hand, said that like Manny Pacquiao, Filipinos no doubt will rise again, “as they proved that in the past and we are going to prove it again before the eyes of the world.”

“Mabuhay ka Manny! Maraming salamat at napangiti mo muli ang sambayanang bugbog sarado at nagluluksa sa sunud-sunod na unos at kalamidad na dumaan nitong mga huling linggo. Kay sarap maging Pilipino!,” Angara said.