Sarangani town mayor lauds Belmonte for rejecting calls to suspend Pacquiao
SARANGANI, Philippines – The municipal mayors’ league in this province hailed Speaker Feliciano Belmonte for rejecting the call of former senator Rene Saguisag to suspend world eight-division boxing champion and Sarangani lone district Rep. Manny Pacquiao.
“We salute the independence and wisdom of House Speaker Sonny Belmonte in rejecting the proposal of Saguisag. By doing so, the House leadership did what is right and just,” Glan town mayor Victor James Yap, president of the municipal mayors’ league in this province, said.
Earlier, Saguisag asked the House leadership to suspend Pacquiao for allegedly treating his legislative responsibilities as a “hobby or sideline.”
“Who is he to ask for the suspension of our own representative? He is not even a voter of Sarangani,” Yap asked.
Yap claimed that Pacquiao has never been remiss of his duty as representative of their district.
“Other congressmen can no longer be seen in their respective district after election. Maybe because they are avoiding solicitations or requests for help from their constituents. Rep. Manny Pacquiao is different. He’s always there every time we need him. He’s not hiding from us,” Yap said.
Yap said that aside from being visible to his people, Pacquiao has been spending his own money to help people and to finance government projects in his district.
Pacquiao has been helping not just his own constituents but also people from other areas particularly those who were battered and displaced by natural calamities, said Yap.
Pacquiao spent around P6 million out of his own pocket to help the victims of Typhoon Pablo in December 2012, Yap said.
In November 2013, Pacquiao spent more than P10 million out of his hard-earned money for relief operations in areas devastated by super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), Yap added.
In his district, Pacquiao purchased lands using his own funds to provide housing for the homeless, according to Yap.
The mayor had more to recall: Just last December, Pacquiao turned over 205 housing units intended for the victims of natural calamities in Glan town. Currently, Pacquiao has seven housing and relocation projects in different areas in General Santos City and Sarangani all funded through his personal funds, according to Yap.
Pacquiao has also been spending his own personal resources to support the education of around 2,500 poor yet deserving students in Sarangani and General Santos City.
Last October, Yap said, Pacquiao personally shouldered the entire P12-million budget for the centennial foundation anniversary fete of Glan town.
Yap further claimed that all the municipal governments in Sarangani have been relying on Pacquiao for finances during important events or celebrations especially after the controversial Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) was declared illegal by the Supreme Court.
“By doing this, I believe, Rep. Manny Pacquiao deserves commendation rather than suspension. He has performed beyond our expectation as compared to other lawmakers who spend most of their time in Manila than in their districts,” Yap said.
Yap said Saguisag should vent his anger on the corrupt and non-performing lawmakers especially those involved in PDAF scam.
Pacquiao, himself, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that he has been spending around P20 million a year out of his own pocket to give his constituents medical assistance.
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