In homecoming, it’s not Pacquiao the boxerPhilippine Daily Inquirer
GLAN, Sarangani—There was none of the usual hero’s welcome for world boxing champion and Rep. Manny Pacquiao, who suffered his first ring defeat in many years in the hands of American boxer Timothy Bradley.
People here still lined up to see him, but this time, not as a boxing champion coming home triumphant but as a congressman and politician distributing relief goods to victims of flash floods that swept this town last week.
From the airport in General Santos City, Pacquiao’s convoy of more than 20 vehicles proceeded to this town to distribute relief items and cash. Every family directly affected by the calamity received one sack of rice and P10,000.
Pacquiao also pledged to purchase lots for the relocation of the displaced.
“All these are coming from my personal pockets. My gifts for you from the proceeds of my recent fight with Timothy Bradley,” he said laughing.
He lost in a controversial decision to Bradley in their world welterweight title match in Las Vegas last June 9 (June 10 in Manila).
Pacquiao said he drew money from his own pocket because he could not wait for funds from government because “government bureaucracy grinds so slow.”
Before his homecoming here, he said, he explained to his children his responsibility as a public official.
“I told my children I have to rush home to help the people in my district. This is part of my responsibility as a public servant,” he said.
More than 3,000 people had been displaced when floods struck at least four villages of this town.
Capt. George Ursabia, the head of the Coast Guard District Southeastern Mindanao, said there was no storm in the area when the floods came.
“It was just a sudden change of weather and sea conditions,” Ursabia said.
Dozens of fishermen went missing and many were rescued at sea.
Authorities said most of the fishermen set out to sea when the weather was still good so they had not been sufficiently warned. Aquiles Z. Zonio, Inquirer Mindanao