Pacquiao, the Idol of Philippine officialdom

Now that talks of a Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather fight are abuzz, I expect Manny to be given once again an extension of the no-garnishment order on Manny’ assets.  It will be recalled that BIR Commissioner Kim Henares was ready to sequester or seize Manny’s money in the banks equivalent to  P2 billion, the amount of tax overdue from him,  when the Supreme Court restrained her until after Manny’s bout with Chris Algieri so that he could concentrate on his preparation for the fight.

So, the Pacquiao worshippers in the Supreme Court would most likely extend the status quo order until after the much-hyped Pacquiao-Mayweather fight.  But the loose statements of the garrulous Mayweather indicate that the fight would not push through.  Mayweather is again setting conditions for the fight that are unfair and therefore unacceptable to Manny.   That is like challenging one to a debate and then looking for all kinds of excuses to back out of the challenge he himself posed.

You can be sure that Bob Arum will be looking, maybe by next month, for another fighter to pit against Manny.   Arum has to keep Manny fighting every six or seven months, even if he has to fight patsies like Algieri, so Manny can pay back the millions Arum has advanced to him.   Before the restraining order eventually expires, there would be a new president and therefore a new BIR commissioner, possibly one who idolizes Manny like senators, provincial governors, Supreme Court justices, Army generals, and pseudo admirals and commodores.    

(Note: A reserve unit of the Philippine Army gave Manny military honors upon his return from his bout with Algieri.  On Manny’s birthday, December 17, the Philippine Coast Guard gave Manny the honorary rank of Commodore.  A commodore is the equivalent of a brigadier general in the Army.  A commodore in the Navy and a brigadier general in the Army are one-star officers in the Armed Forces of the Philippines.  Army Reserve Lt. Col. Pacquiao is two ranks below a one-star general in the Philippine Army but has one star in the Philippine Coast Guard. That is what happens when people trivialize military ranks and military honors. 

Unlike the US Coast Guard, which is a branch of the US Armed Forces, the Philippine Coast Guard is a civilian law-enforcement agency under the Department of Transportation and Communications.   It has no official capacity to use military ranks or insignias, much less give them, even for the sake only of honor.  It is not a branch of the Armed Forces of the Philippines or a unit of the Department of Defense.    The Philippine police force, which is under the Department of Interior and Local Government, not the Department of Defense, uses the ranking system of Director General, Deputy Director General, Director, Chief Superintendent and so on…)

Manny claims that he had already paid the right taxes on his earnings, but to the US Internal Revenue Service.  He has submitted to the Philippine BIR a photocopy of that income tax return.  Henares insists that Manny submit a certified copy of the income tax return or show Henares the original taxpayer’s (Manny) copy of the return.  Manny in turn insists that the photocopy should suffice.   There are speculations that Manny refuses to submit or show the original taxpayer’s copy of his US ITR because it shows that the status of Manny is “permanent resident.”  Note, he has a palatial residence in the US.  No wonder he did not raise eyebrows in the United State when he, an alien, endorsed Nevada Sen. Harry Reid for re-election.  Or has he become a US citizen? 

But if it is revealed that he is indeed a US resident, millions of Filipino eyebrows would be raised. How can a resident of the United States of America be the Representative of Sarangani in the House of Representatives of the Philippine Congress or be the Pambansang Kamao ng Pilipinas?     

(Note:  Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code provides that any person who is a permanent resident of or an immigrant to a foreign country shall not be qualified to run for any elective office under that Code.  Can he still be called Pambansang Kamao if he has chosen to reside in America? )

Nonito Donaire was born in the Philippines to Filipino parents, Nonito Sr. and Imelda Donaire.  He spent his teenage years and the early part of his boxing career in the US.  That explains his facility with English and his American twang. During his training for his last fight he tried hard to win the hearts of Filipinos, perhaps to gain the same moral support that Pacquiao gets from the Filipino people, by saying he is a full-blooded Filipino and by speaking in a Visayan dialect.  Somehow, Pinoys remained lukewarm  towards him.   

Would Pinoys still glorify Manny Pacquiao if it is established that he is a resident of the US of A?  Would he be ousted from the House of Representatives? Would he still be referred to as the Pambansang Kamao ng Pilipinas?


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