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Pacquiao always ‘giving, forgiving’

BOUNCING BACK. Filipino boxing great Manny Pacquiao celebrates his win in his title fight against Brandon Rios in Macau. AP FILE PHOTO

The story is told about a local leader who volunteered to join Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao’s campaign team, vowing to deliver votes for a steep budget of P16 million.

The man allegedly walked away with the money, leaving poll watchers unpaid and angry at the boxing icon, who still went on to win a second term in May.

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The campaigner sought forgiveness and is back in the fold, said Jeff de Guzman, a Los Angeles-based respiratory therapist and an erstwhile member of Team Pacquiao.

“[Manny is] the one telling this story,” De Guzman told the Inquirer.

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Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza, regarded as a “second father” to Pacquiao, recalled another instance when a couple from the United States allegedly defrauded the boxing superstar of some $100,000. Like the Sarangani campaigner, they were eventually forgiven.

“That’s Manny—he easily forgives,” Atienza said.

 ‘Bottomless giving, forgiving’

 

But this same attitude of seemingly bottomless giving—and forgiving—has worried many of Pacquiao’s supporters.

“It’s always a good quality, but it’s also a weakness if you keep allowing these things to happen,” Atienza said. “I’m sure he was victimized a couple of times. With his good heart, he’s a prime target of exploitative people.”

Padded bank withdrawal

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Michael Joseph Cabuhat, Pacquiao’s former US accountant, said he noticed an “abnormal clearing of checks” while his company, VisionQwest Accountancy Group, was examining the boxer’s finances from 2010 to 2011.

Cabuhat said there were cases when a bank withdrawal of only $10,000 or $20,000 was jacked up to “$40,000” because someone forged the first digit using a pen.

“We saw an abnormal clearing of checks,” he said. “So if these things were happening, I wanted to close the account because I didn’t know how many more of such cases were happening.”

The ring legend of Pacquiao, boxing’s only titlist in eight different weight divisions, is matched by the ethos of his generosity, sometimes to a fault.

Weight-loss challenge

Before his blockbuster bout with England’s Ricky Hatton in 2009, Pacquiao staged a much-publicized “weight-loss challenge” among members of his Wild Card entourage.

“Pacquiao had to pass out nearly $80,000,” reported ESPN’s Tim Keown, who added that “the competition was marred by allegations of Lasix and even liposuction.”

The amount, roughly P3.4 million today, didn’t seem to matter considering Pacquiao’s reported guaranteed purse of $12 million then. It was easy money for Pacquiao, who needed only two rounds to knock Hatton out cold.

Pacquiao has been the House of Representatives’ richest member since he was first elected in 2010 as Sarangani’s lone representative.

$188.5M in 17 bouts

A bulk of his income comes from purses and pay-per-view shares generated from his US bouts. In 17 fights since 2006, Pacquiao earned a total of $188.5 million from just guaranteed purses. Of the fights, 15 were held in the United States.

In his 2010 statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN), Pacquiao reported a net worth of P1.13 billion. His assets then consisted of P397.9 million in real properties and P736.3 million in personal and other properties.

He did not report his liabilities.

In his 2011 SALN, Pacquiao reported a net worth of P1.35 billion—P542.4 million in real assets, P810.3 million in personal assets and no liabilities.

P258M in liabilities

In his 2012 SALN, Pacquiao reported a net worth of P1.77 billion—P2.03 billion in total assets and P258 million in liabilities.

But the size of his earnings is almost matched by the ease with which he spends his money. His boundless spending was also in full display during basketball games.

In one gym in Manila, Pacquiao played three games with former collegiate standouts and Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) mainstays, the likes of ex-PBA import Jamelle Cornley, RR Garcia, Joshua Webb and Chester Tolomia.

Cash for basketball players

After the game, someone from Team Pacquiao was seen distributing wads of cash to the players, who were then told to proceed to a nearby restaurant for dinner.

Asked about Pacquiao’s spending on basketball games, De Guzman said the winning team usually went home with P50,000 while the losing squad got P20,000.

Jinkee’s lavish spending

Pacquiao’s wife Jinkee is also known for her lavish spending.

“Jinkee is very generous to her siblings, to relatives of her siblings, to her friends,” De Guzman said, recalling one bout where she purportedly paid for the clothes worn by her friends that night.

“That’s the way they are,” he said. “Every time they go out, it costs them money.”

De Guzman said the inability to say “no” also cost the Pacquiaos money, as in the case of another US-based couple, who sought to borrow $100,000. He said Pacquiao could shell out only $75,000 “so the joke among us was he still owed them $25,000.”

“He was that generous,” De Guzman said. “The problem with him is he doesn’t know how to say ‘no.’”

Pacquiao’s generosity may be legendary, but it also had an impact on his taxes in the United States.

“In fairness to Manny, he’s really generous and kind,” Cabuhat said. “But he has to do it the right way.” With reports from Inquirer Research

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TAGS: Chester Tolomia, elections 2013, IRS, Jamelle Cornley, Joshua Webb, Lito Atienza, Manny Pacquiao, Pacquiao, PBA mainstays, Philippine Basketball Association, RR Garcia, Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao, Team Pacquiao
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