Senate scrap stopped
Manny Pacquiao joined the peacemakers during an unpleasant incident on the Senate floor earlier this week.
The politician-cum- prizefighter is yet to prepare for his defense of the WBO welterweight belt against little-known Australian challenger Jeff Horn possibly in the Land Down Under this April.
As seen from a video that’s turned viral on social media, Pacquiao, boxing’s only eight-division champion and elected senator, along with chamber colleagues, sprang into action to thwart Senators Juan Miguel Zubiri and Antonio Trillanes from coming to blows.
Now known for the monikers they tagged on each other, Zubiri “The Cheater” and Trillanes “The Rebel” exchanged heated words in the middle of a Senate session over the probe of two immigration officials mired in a bribery case.
The session was suspended as the protagonists engaged in a shouting match. During the break the duo appeared to continue trolling and taunting each other—prompting Pacquiao and the cooler heads to intervene.
If the Senate walls could talk they could tell that the sounds they hear today are unsavory—a far cry from the stentorian voices of debating statesmen that have served within their confines.
The walls could also talk about the rise of inept characters elected after the greats were long gone.
Even the gallery must be struggling to embrace a new Senate reality where tempers can be more explosive and fuses shorter.
In the high pressure cooker that’s politics, the senators—24 independent republics—will have to legislate and coexist with President Duterte and his deadly campaign on drugs, his passionate and crude outbursts and his pugnacious style of governance.
But even if some senators resort to name calling, shout abuse at each other and lapse into unparliamentary language and conduct, the chamber has not descended into chaos.
Thank heavens the Philippine Senate remains more civilized than the brawling and chair-hurling South Korean Parliament—ground zero for confrontational and melodramatic politics where sometimes rival parties resort to mayhem to bring opponents to their way of thinking.
The site of Pacquiao’s April match with Horn remains up in the air, while promoter Bob Arum entertains offers in Australia and United Arab Emirates.
Arum has planned a four-fight farewell world tour for the Filipino ring icon, culminating in a bout with two-belt junior welterweight champ Terence Crawford in November or December, not a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr.