Pacquiao as the real voracious Pacman
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2009-03-24

Before Manny Pacquiao adopted the moniker of “Pacman” - Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr. used to be associated with that name. In the case then of Danding Cojuangco, being called Pacman was an attribution to his being seen as gobbling up blue chip companies, one after another.

In the case of Manny Pacquiao, Pacman was more in reference to how people saw him “eat” one ring opponent after another. His camp may have started calling him that but it is evident that media and the people who follow his ring saga accept it and now fondly call him Pacman.

However, in the light of the recent controversy involving Pacquiao’s unilateral jump to another television network (when in fact he had an ongoing contract with Solar Sports and GMA Network where Solar is committed to air Pacquiao’s fights) - the ‘Pambansang Kamao’ (the national fist, as Pacquiao is also called) is now seen by more Filipinos as the original voracious connotation of Pacman.

My old friend, Recah Trinidad, captured the essence of this new public perception of the Pacman in his March 21 “Bare Eye” column. Recah narrated in said column how people he knew were greatly disappointed over what Pacquiao did.

Nick Bruan (described by Recah as a dusky, overworked daily wage earner), Boy T. (a dressed-chicken vendor) and Ronnie N. (a jeepney driver) perceived Manny’s turnaround as an act that betrayed principle for more money and perhaps a promised boost for the Pacman’s obsession to become a Gen San congressman.

“Nakakahiya” (It’s a shame),” Nick Bruan told Recah. Boy T. was quoted by Recah: “Walang delicadeza, sira na basta kuwarta (He has no sense of propriety, he loses it when it comes to money).” Per Recah, Ronnie N. said: “Sana matalo, para matauhan sila ng ABS-CBN” (I hope he loses, so he and ABS-CBN will come to their senses).

What is damning for Pacquiao is that he is known to have demonstrated this character weakness when it comes to money issues. He also figured in a big controversy when he turned around from a deal he made with Oscar dela Hoya. That mess was headed for a disastrous legal battle and Pacquiao was simply lucky that the pragmatists in dela Hoya and Bob Arum prevailed and they managed to work out a mutually beneficial deal.

Pacquiao was also lucky in this Solar-ABS-CBN row that he created because Solar Sports top boss, William Tieng, is a person of goodwill who will opt to sit down and iron out a problem. Even if he is aggrieved, William Tieng is the type who will give the other party a chance to correct his mistake.

Another rich man and accomplished businessman could have allowed his pride and temper to rule his better judgment and decide to go after Pacquiao with everything he’s got. A legal battle will necessarily involve injunctions that will prevent Pacquiao’s Ricky Hatton and future fights to be telecast here. Should he lose that case that Solar was poised to file, Pacquiao stands to pay P150 million in damages.

Lucky for Pacquiao that he finally came to his senses and remedied the mess that he created. However, the damage has been done and he is now seen in a very different and uncomplimentary light by many of those who used to find their nationalism every time the Pacman fought a ring legend.

Who knows if those in Gen San where Pacquiao is planning to run anew for Congress are also similarly affected? How can Pacquiao pretend to be better than the current crop of congressmen who continue to rate poorly with the general public because of their association with pork barrel and rumored extortion and bribes from vested interests?

Won’t Pacquiao’s irresponsible and reckless attitude when it comes to contracts and money issues suggest to those whose votes he seeks that he may just be worse than those other congressmen? At least the other congressmen do their thing with a lot more ‘finesse’ like accepting favors under the cover of donations or to have their mistresses receive their payments.

To begin with, Pacquiao already suffers from a serious qualification question. People do not recognize boxers as fit for public office — something they would otherwise accord showbiz personalities. That’s because boxers are known not to possess enough schooling to be able to land better jobs. No rational educated man will opt to be prizefighter.

Pacquiao’s 2007 attempt to win a congressional seat in Gen San was roundly defeated by incumbent Rep. Darlene Antonino-Custodio because the Pacman failed to convince the voters that he is qualified to represent them in Congress. People just could not associate Pacquiao with the required qualifications to be a congressman.

Does Manny Pacquiao now think that the DepEd High School test he supposedly passed some time back and the even more recent honor that a Cebu educational institution bestowed on him already convinced the minds of the voters that he has attained qualifications overnight?

Many Filipinos do suffer from the Information and Education Gaps. However, given the right premises, they are very capable of processing information and reaching intelligent conclusions.

The Pacman’s recent unilateral abrogation of his contract with Solar Sports may have provided the Gen San voters the best reason why they should not allow him to represent them in Congress.

  Previous Columns:

It had to happen on The Ides of March and Holy Week

Suggested guidelines for liability- free Internet posts

Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

All Excited by Pope Francis

A great disservice to P-Noy

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