Pacquiao vows to be more active in House as Olympics panel chair
Boxing champion and Sarangani Representative Manny Pacquiao vowed to be more active in Congress once the special committee formed for him is organized that would boost the country’s bid in the 2016 Summer Olympics.
At the sidelines of the Inquirer’s celebration on Wednesday night of its coverage of the Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather bout, Pacquiao said the Special Committee on the Olympics where he is chair will give him an opportunity to finally prove his worth as congressman.
Pacquiao had been criticized for his dismal performance in the House, being the top absentee in 2014 attending only four session days with three excused absences.
“Magiging aktibo siguro ako pag chairman na tayo diyan. I think next year pa siguro yun,” Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao also confirmed that he had asked Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. to be chair of the House committee on overseas workers affairs, where he was the acting vice chair following the resignation as congressman of former chair Akbayan Representative Walden Bello.
Instead, Pacquiao was given the chairmanship to lead the special committee that would tackle measures to prepare the country’s athletes for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The special panel would have 35 representatives who would be tasked to prepare for the country’s bid in the 2016 Olympics.
Pacquiao said he would focus on legislation that could help the country’s athletes to have discipline and proper training.
“Matagal-tagal na rin tayong hindi nakakakuha ng gold. Kailangang makakuha tayo ng gold this time around,” Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao said he would have wanted to chair the overseas workers affairs committee to particularly lead the probe on Mary Jane Veloso, who was sentenced to death over drug trafficking in Indonesia but who was given a temporary reprieve following information that she was used by an illegal human trafficking syndicate.
Pacquiao also said it would have been ideal for him to lead the committee because he has several overseas trips as a world-renowned boxer. He also said world leaders would listen to OFW concerns if he as a famous boxer would represent the country.
Still, the welterweight champion said he harbored no ill feelings.
“Hindi naman masama ang loob ko… Pabor sana sa’ ken ang OFW committee kasi gala akong tao,” Pacquiao said.
“Malaki ang maitutulong natin sa OFW syempre pag mabisita natin sila dun,” he added.
Pacquiao said despite losing the bid to lead the probe, he would visit Veloso in Indonesia between July 8 and 10 and he would try to arrange a meeting with Indonesian President Jokowi Widodo.