Sunday, March 14, 2010

RP needs more athletes like Pacquiao — Gibo

03/14/2010 | 06:49 PM

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With Manny Pacquiao’s 12-round victory over Ghana’s Joshua Clottey on Sunday, presidential aspirant Gilberto “Gibo" Teodoro (Lakas-Kampi-CMD) said it is only prudent for the government, with the help of the private sector, to give more attention to sports.

“To attain more gold medals in the field of sports, I feel we should concentrate our resources on a few key sports, like boxing, and set up a well-managed program which focuses all our efforts on these sports," he said in a statement congratulating Pacquiao.

Teodoro stressed the need for private sector support in developing key sports where the country has the best chances of winning medals in international competitions.

“Private sector support is crucial for any sport development program, but the private sector can only be enlisted to join the search for the next Manny Pacquiao in other sports, if our sports program has a clear goal and a plan," he said.

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Manny on Manny

Another presidential candidate, Sen. Manuel Villar Jr. (Nacionalista Party), meanwhile, has nothing but sweet words about Pacquiao, his most prominent endorser for the May 10 elections.

In a statement, Villar said Pacquiao’s victory was “proof that perseverance can overcome any obstacle."

“Isang halimbawa si Manny na kaya nating talunin ang kahirapan, na magaling ang Pilipino, at karapat-dapat lamang na kilalanin ng buong mundo. Mabuhay ka, Manny," said Villar, a self-made billionaire who is banking on his pro-poor image to catapult him to Malacañang.

(Manny is the best example that we can overcome poverty, that Filipinos are good. The whole world should recognize him. Long live Manny.)

Villar’s political ads were seen prominently in commercial breaks during the free television broadcast of Pacquiao’s fight. Like him, Pacquiao, 31, also rose from poverty.

Pacquiao to join Villar sorties

Now that the fight is over, Pacquiao, the NP’s congressional bet for the lone district of Sarangani province, is expected to join Villar in his campaign sorties.

In a videotaped message played during NP’s campaign rally in Mandaue City, Cebu, last month, Pacquiao promised to join Villar after his fight with Clottey.

“Pagdating ko po sa Pilipinas, sasamahan ko po ang aking mahal na presidente na si Manny Villar para po ma-introduce sa inyong lahat. Eto po si Manny Villar, siya po ang sagot sa ating problema. Dahil alam ko na galing siya sa hirap, kailangan natin ng isang lider na ang damdamin niya ay nasa pakiramdam ng mahirap," Pacquiao said.

(When I return to the country, I will accompany my beloved president Manny Villar so I can personally introduce him to all of you. Manny Villar is the solution to all our problems because he knows how it is to be poor, and we need a leader who can empathize with the poor.)

Pacquiao vs Kris

Pacquiao is said to be Villar’s answer to TV personality Kris Aquino, who’s been helping the campaign of her brother, Sen. Benigno “Noynoy" Aquino III (Liberal Party). Mr. Aquino is Villar’s toughest rival to the presidency.

Pacquiao ran for congressman in General Santos City under the Lakas-CMD banner in the 2007 elections, but lost to incumbent Rep. Darlene Antonino Custodio, who won by landslide. He moved to Villar’s NP last year to prepare for his second shot at a political career. - with Sophia Dedace/KBK, GMANews.TV

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