Pacquiao hits revival of his past absenteeism in Congress | Inquirer News
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Pacquiao hits revival of his past absenteeism in Congress

/ 06:59 PM March 24, 2021
Pacquiao hits revival of his past absenteeism in Congress

FILE PHOTO: World boxing champ-turned-politician Senator Manny Pacquiao at the Senate floor on March 23, 2020. (Henzberg Austria/Senate PRIB Files)

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Manny Pacquiao on Wednesday questioned why his past record of being a top absentee in Congress is being thrown against him now as a reason for his supposed lack of competence to lead the country.

“Ang pagkakaalam ko po ay wala po akong halos pagliban sa aking trabaho sa Senado ngayong 18th Congress or to be specific, apat lang po ang aking nalalaman na pagliban. Mayroon po akong pagliban sa pagpasok noong ako’y congressman pa, bakit naman ngayon ito ay ibinabato pa sa akin?” Pacquiao said in a statement.

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The world boxing champ-turned-politician issued this remark after retired Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, the lead convenor of electoral coalition 1Sambayan, said Pacquiao lacks the competence to lead the country as evidenced by his absences at the House of Representatives and now as a senator.

“As a congressman, Pacquiao was the No. 1 absentee, he was the topnotcher in absences in Congress. As a senator, he again topped, he was No. 1 in absences,” Carpio said in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel earlier Wednesday.

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But Pacquiao defended his absences, saying there were times that he needed to go to his district to monitor the “Pacman Village” he had established to provide free housing for his constituents.

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

READ: Pacquiao No. 1 absentee in House

“I have been absent not because I want to but because I need to. Kailangan kong puntahan ang aking distrito. Isang dahilan pa ay upang mabantayan at makita ng personal ang Pacman Village, ito po ang libo-libong libreng pabahay na ipinamigay ko sa aking mga kababayan sa Sarangani at Gensan,” he said.

“Galing po ito sa aking dugo at pawis at personal na pondo. Sinimulan ko po ‘yan noong 2004 na hindi pa ako politiko,” he added.

Further, the senator said that despite his absences, his “record as a legislator can speak for itself.”

“Hindi naman po naging balakid ‘yun upang hindi ko magampanan ang aking trabaho sa publiko,” he said.

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He then asserted that he filed and co-authored “many bills” in the Senate, including sin tax measures, the Free Internet Access Program in Public Places Act, and Expanded Maternity Leave Act, among others.

In fact, he claimed, he has filed and co-authored a total of 96 bills as a senator.

“Ang panawagan ko lang po kay former Chief Justice Antonio Carpio, ay sana’y mabigyan niyo po ako ng pagkakataong maipakilala ang tunay na Manny Pacquiao. Nais ko pong malaman n’yo ang aking saloobin, ganun din sa mga taong nagsasabing wala tayong karapatan,” Pacquiao said.

“Nonetheless, I still respect the opinion of former Justice Carpio. I will take it as a reminder to do better as a public servant and as a servant of God,” he added.

At least two of Pacquiao’s colleagues in the Senate have disclosed that the famous prizefighter is interested in joining the presidential race in 2022.

READ: Pacquiao has plans to run in 2022 presidential race, says Lacson

READ: Pacquiao ‘interested’ to run for president in 2022 – Sotto

Pacquiao, however, has yet to either confirm or deny this.

KGA

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TAGS: 1Sambayan, 2022, 2022 polls, Election, Nation, News, Politics, retired SC Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, Senator Manny Pacquiao
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