Why Pacquiao must retire – Manila Standard


There were many reasons why Manny Pacquiao lost to that unheralded Australian boxer, Jeff Horn.

Manny is 38 years old. He is no longer the Pacman of long ago—focused, with the killer instinct.

I am not a fan of boxing, just an onlooker. I think even the nationwide excitement about his fights has gone.

Pacquiao claims he was robbed of his victory by the judges who voted for Horn. Was he, really? Perhaps we should remind him that the vote was unanimous and not split.

I think this is just another example of Filipinos not being able to accept defeat. We always say we are cheated when we don’t get our way.

There is consensus, though, about the fact that he should retire. He has already experienced being on top of the world and having seven titles to his name. By retiring now, he will forever be the people’s boxing icon.

As I see it, Pacquiao’s problem is that he is not satisfied with his billions, his mansion at Forbes Park, his airplane in Los Angeles. He became greedy. He lusted after more money. If he does not retire now, people will remember him losing to Manuel Marquez and Floyd Mayweather.

Am I right to observe that Pacquiao seems to believe he is unbeatable?

As a senator, Pacquiao has an obligation to those who voted him into office. But no, he wanted more money and adulation. And then, an unheralded boxer from Australia beat him. I think this is God’s way of telling him: “Hey, you have had enough glory, and it’s time for you to quit while quitting is good.”

It was reported that the Games and Amusements Board will review the fight, not necessarily to overturn the decision of the judges but to find out what really happened in that fight. But Bob Arum himself, promoter of the fight, said the decision of the judges was right.

Pacquiao’s biggest fight is to prove to those who voted for him that they made the right decision.

* * *

The siege of Marawi City by the combined forces of the Maute, Abu Sayyaf and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters has been going on for several weeks.

President Rodrigo Duterte and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Marawi is just a test case for the IS-inspired terrorists. If that is true, there could be other attacks on Mindanao cities like Iligan, Cagayan de Oro, Cotabato and Zamboanga.

Note also that there are reports that foreign jihadists are joining the Mautes and the Abus in the Marawi siege. This can only mean more firearms and ammunition. It could prolong the war in that city.

To me, the entry of foreign jihadists supports the idea that the IS really intends to establish a caliphate in the Philippines.

As for the situation in Marawi, I think it will get worse before it gets better.

* * *

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV was out of line when he described his fellow senators as cowards and as puppets of the Duterte administration.

Obviously, Trillanes was referring to the majority of the Senate, especially Senators Richard Gordon and Panfilo Lacson.

Lacson said he did not know where Trillanes was coming from. He is not even sure Trillanes thinks rationally!

For me, Senator Aquilino Pimentel III gave the best reply. “Why revive it just for him to be in the news?”

Trillanes seems desperate because nobody is taking him seriously.

Indeed in a democracy, there is need for check and balance. But Trillanes is just too much.

* * *

President Duterte faces the problem of housing backlog, to the tune of 500,000 homes for poverty-stricken families. It is actually a social volcano in the making. Not addressing it now only makes it worse.

We have already seen how Kadamay, an association identified with the Left, took over the housing projects aimed at giving them to families of policemen.

It was anarchy!

This proves how the poor can be desperate to have a house. I just don’t know why families of policemen did not want to live in those units. Beggars cannot be choosers.

Even the illegal drug problem is caused by poverty.

* * *

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II claims there is a resurgence of illegal drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison.

That’s nothing new so long as there security guards and Bureau of Correction officials to be bribed.

For so long, I have been writing in this column that the only lasting solution to the problem is to decongest the national penitentiary. It was built for 2,400 inmates but now houses over 24,000.

The NBP must be relocated to a new venue like in Laur, Nueva Ecija. In fact, Aguirre is aware that three consortia—San Miguel, DMCI and Megawide —have already prequalified to build a P50-billion facility for both the NBP and the Correctional Institute for Women in Mandaluyong. But Secretary Aguirre keeps postponing the final bidding.

So what is he complaining about when he knows what the solution is?

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