Pacquiao hard at work in new job
Now out of the boxing ring, neophyte Sen. Manny Pacquiao is hard at work in his new arena—the Senate.
While he was constantly absent at the House of Representatives, Pacquiao has a perfect attendance so far in the Senate since it opened on July 1, and has filed bills to wit.
To date, the neophyte senator has attended five out of five Senate sessions since the opening on July 25 and has never been late in arrival.
This, by far, is already a 400 percent improvement from his performance in the 16th Congress, where he was present for only a single day in the final session during his term as Sarangani Representative.
“It’s OK. Hindi naman ako naninibago (I do not find it hard to adjust),” said Pacquiao, whose attendance at the Senate is among those much anticipated.
He said he has been learning the ropes—“I continuously study”—and joked that he has already made headway in his promise to memorize the 1987 Constitution.
“I’ve almost gone through all of it,” he said.
Pacquiao has also filed 10 bills, including three measures for the revival of death penalty for various crimes, a legislative priority of the Duterte administration, a proposal to promote the welfare of Philippine boxers, the provision of wireless Internet access in all state colleges and universities, and the establishment of community fitness centers in every barangay.
Asked if he has been seeking advice from his new colleagues, Pacquiao gave no direct answer but said: “I am friends with everyone.”
Pacquiao promised to maintain his record even while he is set to return to the Mahindra Enforcers, where he is playing coach, after teammate LA Revilla suffered an injury during practice on Monday.
“[It’s] for exercise,” said Pacquiao, adding he would give “whatever I can contribute” as a player.
“As long as it won’t affect the [Senate] session,” said Pacquiao, who was earlier reported to be planning to return to the ring during the Senate break sometime in November.
He has repeatedly denied this as announced by his promoter Bob Arum, but Pacquiao has not completely shut the door on his primary sport, saying he will only fight again if it will not disrupt his legislative work.
As senator, Pacquiao has indeed been a busy man, even meeting President Duterte in Malacañang on Tuesday to talk about the administration’s war on crime and drugs.