Pacquiao as traditional politician
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2007-04-26
Manny Pacquiao may be one of the world’s best boxers but for the sake of our country, let us not overdo our tribute for the sports icon by closing our eyes to the dreadful possibilities that could happen if he did become a congressman.

Jesus Christ warned about the devil quoting scripture. Indeed, we’ve seen many of these glib-talking devil types running our institutions with impunity. We see many of these self-proclaimed do-gooders toting Bibles and rosaries and invoking the name of God, receiving communion and looking so pious, as though this would cover up their sins and devious intentions.

The devil quotes scriptures and can even more easily promise to "serve and help the people." As a columnist committed to espouse the truth and challenge lies and half truths, I cannot simply accept Manny Pacquiao’s assertion that he wants to serve and help. I need to first satisfy myself that the overused mantra — "to serve and to help" — is genuine and not just another case of self service.
Intellectual dishonesty
Manny Pacquiao has to convince us that he is not guilty of the mother of all deception — intellectual dishonesty. A person who is intellectually dishonest will also be capable of other forms of deceit and chicanery. A person who lies to his own soul can only lead us to hell.

Jean Valjean of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables stole bread out of necessity but Jean Valjean was not intellectually dishonest. In fact, Jean Valjean was a hero. Jean Valjean was all about love and self sacrifice.

Now, there are reasons to doubt that Manny Pacquiao is a Jean Valjean. His venture into politics is reason to suspect intellectual dishonesty. Isn’t taking advantage of one’s popularity to acquire an elective position for which one is not qualified a classic case of intellectual dishonesty?

Is Manny Pacquiao not even aware of the fact that he neither has the training nor experience to perform the job of a congressman? Does he not in his heart of hearts realize that he does not even know the most basic tasks of a congressman’s job description?

So why does Manny Pacquiao insist on aspiring for a job he has no preparation for? Should a person who truly cares for the people not be concerned about their being represented by someone who is neither suited nor prepared for the job?
Other dishonesties and questionable character
Let us now explore how Pacquiao rates in other forms of dishonesty and how he will measure up to character yardsticks that we apply to other candidates.

Manny Pacquiao was confronted not too long ago with a paternity claim for a son he allegedly sired with another woman. If I remember right, Pacquiao did not deny the relationship with the woman but was mum on being the father of the boy. That issue may no longer be in vogue but there is no indication that Pacquiao was not guilty of adultery and siring a bastard he would not even acknowledge.

We are told by our parents to admit the truth even if it embarrasses us. Denying one’s misdeed is not only a case of dishonesty but a gauge of a person’s character. Can’t the victor who humbled the great Erik Morales two times over not even have the guts to admit responsibility for siring a son who did not even derive pleasure from the act that created him?

And what about Pacquiao’s gambling habit — is that not a legitimate campaign issue? In my February 6, 2007 column, I mentioned how Pacquiao blew a US$10,000 bet on the baccarat table in Las Vegas after his third fight with Erik Morales. Have we not heard time and again of Pacquiao’s big bets on cock fighting?

Now let’s ask ourselves, just what are the chances that Pacquiao, if elected, will be an honest public servant with a gambling habit like that?

How about Pacquiao’s recent squeeze when he signed the conflicting contracts of international fight promoters Bob Arum and Oscar de la Hoya? Ask any man in the street and he will instinctively know that unless you want to get into trouble — you don’t sign two conflicting contracts for the same service and obligation that you will pledge to deliver exclusively.

Pacquiao made his lawyer the scapegoat for that fiasco but are we buying any of that? I don’t think Pacquiao can feign ignorance for signing two conflicting contracts. He may be guilty of avarice or stupid recklessness. In either case, he should never be elected a congressman.

I’ve questioned the candidacy of Richard Gomez, his lack of preparation for the job of a senator and his not having a track record, at the very least, of having performed creditably in a lower public office. But compared to Gomez, Pacquiao has even less to offer to justify being in Congress.

Shame on the bogus Liberal Party and the bogus president’s Kampi Party for fielding Pacquiao’s congressional candidacy.
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