By Ben Rosario
Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao and his brother, Saranggani Rep. Rogelio Pacquiao, visited military camps in war-torn Marawi City and nearby Iligan City and vowed to build a covered basketball court for the soldiers and push for pro-military measures.
At his first stop in Camp Ranao, Marawi City, the senator, a reserved Army Lieutenant Colonel, lifted the spirits of the combat troops who are assigned to free hostages held by the Maute group and recapture parts of the city where the terror group is holed up.
Rep. Pacquiao said he and the senator are strongly pushing for the passage of the bill proposing for supplemental budget to the support the military efforts to destroy the Maute.
He lauded his brother for taking time off to cheer the soldiers who have put their lives on the line in order to put an end to terrorism and the threat to civilians.
Three days before his visit, Sen. Pacquiao sent five of his Senate staff to distribute more than 3,000 packs of relief items to government troops deployed here.
The senator was the first among the incumbent Senate members to visit goverment troopers in the war zone.
“I salute you for your bravery. I came here to express the support of the legislature for your campaign,” Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao claimed he is not scared amidst the cacophony of artillery fires heard from a distance as “I grew up in a conflict area in Sarangani.”
From Camp Ranao, Pacquiao and his entourage dropped by the headquarters of the Army’s 2nd Mechanized Brigade in nearby Iligan City where he delivered a five minute inspirational message to government troops.
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