Manny Pacquiao’s punches: Will it knock Duterte and his minions out?

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‘ARE WE EXPECTING BIGGER PROBLEMS IN POWER SUPPLY?’ Sen. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao poses this question during a hybrid plenary session, Wednesday, June 2, 2021, following the power outages that hit some parts of Luzon Tuesday, June 1, 2021. Pacquiao, in a privilege speech, asks if the country has sufficient supply to prevent further power shortages. Noting that it is the ordinary people, particularly those working and studying from home, who were affected by “brownouts,” he urged the Department of Energy (DOE) to address the problem immediately. “Are we expecting bigger problems pertaining to power supply? Have we done enough preparations for the surge in power supply demand this summer? This is a recurring problem, Mr. President. We cannot rely on the same strategies to solve this problem on the rapidly growing demand for power supply. We need to innovate. We need to secure renewable energy sources,” Pacquiao said. (Joseph Vidal/Senate PRIB)

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte says a person like Senator Manny Pacquiao may be an eight time world boxing champion but it does not necessarily mean that he’s also a champ in politics. True. Yesterday’s move by the maverick senator, however, seemed a very classic and veteran political maneuver.

Expanding his list of corrupt agencies before leaving for his fight with Errol Spence in  the United States, Pacquiao mentioned not just the Department of Health and the Department of Defense, but even the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). Curiously, Pacquiao never mentioned the Bureau of Customs under the Department of Finance and the Bureau of Immigration under the Justice department, perennially known and legendary brand names when it comes to bureaucratic corruption. For full measure, Pacquiao included the Department of Energy (DOE), where his nemesis, Alfonso Cusi, heads.

And in typical politico fashion, the Pacman allowed himself to be photographed with decks of documents right before him, signaling to all that many people had given him voluminous documents of alleged corruption committed by no less than Duterte’s people. As a veteran of exposes, bumenta na po yan, Mr. Senator. Those documents of alleged corruption do not necessarily prove that there is enough pieces of evidence to haul someone to jail.

Honestly, it does not need for a Pacquiao to say there is massive corruption–the people especially small and medium-sized entrepreneurs, feel it. There is too much regulatory capture being undertaken today especially by agencies. If the people would only come forward and give Pacquiao Jr. their own individual experiences with government people under Duterte, then, those photo-ops would not be in vain.

He leaving the scene is typical of politicos wanting a modus vivendi after all the noise created in the media. President Duterte is right–if you have those documents, then try to read them. Stay here. Investigate.

Narvacan mayor Chavit Singson who is a compare of Pacquiao said what I want to say here— read and undertake an in-depth study of all these documents before you open your mouth or before you decide on something. These verbal dramatics may probably increase Pacquiao’s trust ratings but it leaves us to speculate whether it actually spikes his political capital–two different variables.

Maybe Pacquiao has’nt realized that what he did by directly confronting and challenging this administration on the issue of corruption is that his enemy controls the narrative as well as the pieces of evidence that proves corruption. The Presidential Anti-Crime Corruption is not as trust-worthy as when it was headed by the deceased Dante Jimenez. Yes, the PACC has a consistent public relations thing going but the fact that it is headed by a certain Greco leaves much bitter taste in the mouth. Many people had accused this guy of being highly susceptible to compromises especially with accused big names in the corruption cottage industry. And the guy is supposedly aspiring for a Senatorial post in 2022, a pipe dream if you ask me. So, put two and two together and you have a highly politicized anti-corruption body that lends zero contribution to the integrity of Duterte’s so-called anti-corruption drive.

Nevermind that— Pacman must be extremely cautious nowadays especially since his close circle of advisers are known political operators–they work for the money, not necessarily what Manny wants. He may be in for a trap, or this might just be the narrative that may propel Manny to the top. That is, again, a speculation.

Nearing elections, and we find Manny defending himself from the President’s tirades. Curiously though, why is the President defending his men and risking his political capital just for them? Does the President think that his constant denials will change things? He probably still believes or he is being made to believe that the masses will believe whatever he dishes out in the public. Let this president be deluded. Anyway, it is his fault that he does not know now what is true and what is not. His ploy of consolidating media organizations under his wing puts him in a very precarious situation. His ability to frame things in its proper perspective is already a goner. You want to delude yourself that you are doing good, then, control the media channels. The disadvantage of a controlled media is that this President is being fed with what he wants to hear and what he wants to see, therefore, he is blind on the actual workings on the ground. With all his trusted men already corrupted by the payoffs from the sinecures Duterte has given them, the President will definitely be in a twirl up to the elections.

That leaves us with Pacquiao. Honestly, his timing is off. Why do the expose in the middle of political negotiations with voter getters from the administration party? Pacquiao should have ensured and strengthened his political position first before he went off like that. Imagine now his image as a weakling and as a political amateur. Pacquiao engaged a president with still some political capital with him–who then, would be at his side? Surely, even his friends and associates would probably distance themselves from him while he engages the President in this PR fight. It could have been better if Pacquiao went off either August or September, of which time, things would have been so much clearer.

Pacquiao needs to win and demolish Errol Spence Jr., and I think he will do it. Just imagine Spence’s face as those of the President, and Manny will be motivated enough to unleash his killing instincts once more.

Poor Spence.

Pacquiao may surely win against Spence but the question is–will he win against Duterte, a seasoned political veteran with all the might of the government bureaucracy under him? For him to succeed, Pacquiao must have the people behind him.

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