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Pacquiao aiming for 100% attendance in Senate

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Pacquiao aiming for 100% attendance in Senate

/ 12:55 PM May 28, 2016
Filipino boxing great Manny Pacquiao stands as a citation is read while being proclaimed the Seventh Senator in ceremony at the Commission on Elections Thursday, May 19, 2016 in suburban Pasay city south of Manila, Philippines. Pacquiao has won a seat in the Philippine Senate based on an unofficial count bringing him closer to a possible crack at the presidency. Pacquiao said he will retire from boxing to become a full-time politician. AP

Filipino boxing great Manny Pacquiao stands as a citation is read while being proclaimed the Seventh Senator in ceremony at the Commission on Elections Thursday, May 19, 2016 in suburban Pasay city south of Manila, Philippines. Pacquiao has won a seat in the Philippine Senate based on an unofficial count bringing him closer to a possible crack at the presidency. Pacquiao said he will retire from boxing to become a full-time politician. AP

DAVAO CITY—If he was reluctant before to commit to show up in every session in the upper chamber of the Congress, now Senator-elect Manny Pacquiao is keen on aiming for a 100-percent attendance as he takes on a more important role as a legislator.

“If I could have a perfect attendance, why not? There’s no problem with that,” he told reporters at the Almendras Gym in Davao City where he’s challenging Senator Alan Peter Cayetano to a friendly basketball match.

During his proclamation as new Senator, Pacquiao said he does not want to keep a promise of having a perfect attendance while in his new office despite being criticized for his frequent absences in the Congress’ lower chamber.

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READ: 4: Number of days Pacquiao reported in Congress in 2014

The boxing champion-turned-legislator placed seventh place in the senatorial race with 16,050,546 votes.

But Pacquiao said he decided to break his absenteeism streak because he now has a heavier responsibility as a Senator compared to being a lawmaker in the House of Representatives.

“‘Yung responsibilidad na ‘yan hindi katulad sa Congress na distrito lang kundi ito ay nationwide (The responsibility is not like that in the Congress where it only covers the district, this time, it’s nationwide),” he said.

But more than maintaining a perfect attendance, the former Sarangani representative said his target is to fulfill his duty as a Senator.

READ: Pacquiao punches way to Senate; next stop, Malacañang?

Asked what legislation agenda he plans to take up in Senate, Pacquiao said he wants to focus on helping the poor and those in the marginalized sector.

Pacquiao said he wants to push for quality free education from elementary to college.

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“Marami tayong dapat pagtuunan ng pansin. Importante ‘yung ang makikinabang ‘yung mahihirap na tao lalong lalo na pagbibigay nationwide ‘yung libreng eskwela mula elementary hanggang college kasi walang ganon,” he said.

(We have a lot of issues to attend to. It’s important that it will benefit the poor, especially the provision for quality education from elementary to college nationwide because that is currently not provided.)

After their basketball game, Pacquiao and Cayetano are set to meet with President-elect Rodrigo Duterte here in his home province. CDG

READ: Pacquiao declines Rio slot, focuses on Senate

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TAGS: Attendance, Elections 2016, Government, Manny Pacquiao, Politics, Senate
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