Hope this one reaches the White HouseBy Recah Trinidad
Philippine Daily Inquirer
(REMINDER: Did Manny Pacquiao also fall prey to pro-American bias in his last fight that saw him lose his world welterweight boxing crown through widely rejected scoring? This question was raised by international matchmaker Lope Sarreal Jr., who said that the generally accepted practice in international championships was to assign one neutral judge if the combatants are of two different nationalities. “Maybe there was no dirty intent, but who are we to say the American judges had not been swayed by patriotic sentiments into favoring their countryman?” Sarreal asked.)
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WHILE in training for his last world title defense, Manny Pacquiao took time out to take under his wings two young countrymen with contrasting problems.
Andrei Ilano, a four-year-old cancer patient and a screaming Pacman fanatic, was taken in as special ringside guest during the title bout. He and his parents had previously motored from their place in Las Vegas all the way to the Wild Card Gym for the kid to link up with Pacquiao.
It was reported that Ilano, taking after his idol, also took the controversial dethronement of Pacquiao good-naturedly.
He has also received pledges of support when he attended the postfight conference.
While also in training, Pacquiao came upon the immigration case of a young Filipino from San Jose, California.
Pacquiao has also vowed support for the troubled immigrant.
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For an update, here’s boxing expert Hermie Rivera, father of the troubled immigrant:
I write (once more) to seek your help regarding my son Andy’s continued detention in Arizona.
While President Obama’s latest executive move on immigration has given hopeful expectations, we are zeroing in on Andy’s temporary release so he can reunite with his kids while the case is being tried.
Hope you can do something to shut down and ease our immigration woes.
Manny Pacquiao, I was told by Chino, was saddened upon hearing our story. He offered to pray over the continuing difficulty of Andy—a case of deeper understanding and caring since Manny’s renewed and stronger affiliation with God. If you have available space kindly use again this appeal:
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The Honorable Hearing Judge of the State of Arizona: .
We are writing to appeal for help concerning our son’s plight. Gerardo (Andy) Rivera was one of the 3,168 illegal aliens and immigrants arrested in a nationwide sweep by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officers. Andy is a doting father to his children, a loving husband, and a productive member of his community. He is a dependable and hardworking employee who works full-time to support his family (Stacie, wife, a 14 year-old son, Nicolus, and his 5 year-old daughter, Leila.)
Andy participates actively in the care-giving of his two children, also in his son’s scholastics (straight A’s) sports (football & baseball) and in other aspects of parenting. As a young adult, Andy experienced difficulties, a story of a young and impressionable immigrant aching so much to fit in his new environment.
Andy came to the US as an eight-year-old. In his desire to be accepted in his adopted country, he fell victim to peer pressure and succumbed to willful influence of his flawed friends. Andy is not violent. Neither is he mean-hearted. In fact, he struggled to break away from his crowd after serving time for non-violent crime (drug use). He successfully turned around his life and is now a respectable member of his community. He went back to school, finished a course, is gainfully employed, got married and never looked back to a once-sordid past.
We hope you will consider the circumstances surrounding Andy’s challenges that led him to exercise bad judgment. Andy is a good person—a loving and caring son. He made a mistake but paid for it dearly and he deserves a second chance, one he truly needs since he has no family, no ties left, no home and no job in a country he left decades ago.
Here, he has his children, parents, siblings, and friends, who are all praying for his freedom, not to mention a job that is left open for him by his considerate bosses.
My wife and I are elderly and currently not in the best of health. And, we still have not recovered from the sudden demise of our daughter, Christine, who died last year at a young age of 38. But this letter of appeal is not at all about us. Andy’s two young children who need his love and support is the compelling reason for our earnest request.
Right now, Niko and Leila, who both adore their father, are experiencing the darkest hours of their lives. Losing a nurturing father will devastate them, a tragedy that is detrimental in their growing years. Fact is, Leila is so depressed, constantly crying and asking for her father.
Kindly therefore bestow kindness on our granchildren who’ve done nothing to deserve losing a loved one. Andy has since led a productive life and is looking forward to implementing his great plans for the future of his family.
He is one caring soul who has erred in the past, paid for his mistakes and has since learned from it to lead a responsible life since his full rehabilitation.
Grateful, Hermie and Cristina Rivera
Parents of Gerardo P. Rivera
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