LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Just days away from the much awaited rematch between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez, local politicians watching the fight on Saturday (Sunday, Manila time) had one special request to boxing promoter Bob Arum.
In a formal letter of request written by the League of Elected Politicians for Apathetic Legislation sent to Arum, the group of 26 politicians who are headed to Las Vegas to watch their colleague bring glory to our country, wanted the boxing promoter to increase the size of the boxing ring where that match is to be held.
Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II told reporters yesterday that 26 lawmakers had sought authority to travel to the United States.
“I suppose they will be watching Pacman,” he said, using the boxer’s moniker.
“They are traveling on their own at no expense to taxpayers. We want them to return in time for next week’s deliberations on the RH (reproductive health) bill.
“But I assure you that we will have a quorum to tackle the bill again despite their absence.” (from Philstar.com)
When asked if their request would be advantageous for Pacquiao, Southern Samar 2nd District Representative Emily Long replied with a quick, “No.”
“That would not be fair for Marquez,” clarified Long. “Just like everyone, we want a good, clean fight.”
Congressman Agasipol Guanlaosai of 1Bigas Party-list explained that in the event of a Pacquiao victory, all 26 of them would join their colleague in celebration and admittedly, bonus exposure on television.
“Dati rati si Pareng Chavit at si Atienza lang ang nakikita natin sa TV tuwing may laban si Pacquaio. Napaka unfair naman po nun di po ba (Before, it was only Chavit & Atienza who could be seen on TV when Pacquaio had a fight. Isn’t that a bit unfair)?” said Guanlaosai.
Long added, “Nung tinanong namin si Manny kung bakit ganon, sabi nya maliit lang daw po kasi yung ring, kaya mangilan-ngilan lang ang kasya (When we asked Manny why that was the case, he said that it’s because of the small ring size, hence only a few would fit).”
“That is why we requested Arum if he could increase the size of the ring so that we could have ample TV exposure after the match,” added Congressman Travis Ponciano of the 9th District of Manila.
Arum, in a phone interview, confirmed the lawmaker’s request.
“Yes, I received their letter and already brought it up to the WBO (World Boxing Organization) so that they could immediately act on it,” said Arum.
When asked if there is a chance that the request will be granted, Arum replied, “There’s a 90% chance of it being granted.”
But he was quick to point out that the lawmakers would not be allowed to bring in any tarpaulins or banners bearing congratulatory messages with their face emblazoned on it.
“No, that would be wrong,” said Arum.
“Or what you in the Philippines calls Hey Pal.”
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