Â Â FILIPINO BOXING ICONÂ Manny Pacquaio is fighting the equivalent of Juan Manuel Marquez’ thundering right fist that put the Pacman to sleep and stained his illustrious career.
This came after Pacman’s assertion that those who practice same sex and do same sex marriage “are worse than animals.” This stirred a hornet’s nest worldwide- and a deluge of brickbats and insults arrived on Philippine shoes to drown theÂ Pambansang Kamao.
Pacquiao tried to wiggle out with a public apology to the LGBT community (Lesbians, gays, Bisexuals and Transgenders) -with the lame excuse that he respected them but was condemning only the same sex marriage. The controversy still brews.
Out of his new-found religious exuberance, the sometime pastor Pacman spoke his conviction-and that is his right. Catholic Â Bishop Emeritus Ted Bacani just merely clouded the issue Â by saying Â that – Pacquiao was merely contrasting the “lower forms” (animals) from humans “higher form”. He was trying to apply the language technique of “contrasts”, the good bishop said.
Bishop Bacani’s hazy statement only fueled the debate further.
Not just the LGBT, but celebrity folks from everywhere hit Pacman with sledgehammer blows that can pain. He was a called an “ignorant bigot,” “barbaric,” and Nike withdrew his multi-million peso contract for his “abhorrent” statement. Floyd Mayweather said we should let “people live their lives”, trying to add insult to the injury of Pacman’s defeat in the ring by him.
Vice Ganda said Pacman is a “false prophet” and Boy Abunda dumped him for “playing God” even as Lea Salonga confirmed more than a thousand species in the planet exhibit homosexual manners. (Also see LGU Corner this issue for 10 such specific species).
Under Philippine laws, onlyÂ a marriage between a man and woman is considered legal. In a democracy, we may not agree with each other but we cannot suppress the right of a person to free speech which Pacquiao exercised. And for which his foes were free to react. That is democracy.
If Pacman is really convinced that his soul is more important than his body-he should stand by his conviction. Let the millions of the LGBT community and their supporters “not vote” for him as senator (He is precariously on the 8th and 9th places in the last survey).His Nike contract will not also anyway seriously deplete his multi-billion cash fortune.
If Pacman loses the election in May, so be it. Maybe it was meant to be. After all in Congress he attended only four of the last sessions and filed no bill. We do not know if that is an indication of what he can and cannot do in the senate.
Maybe his calling is to really be a pastor. Can anyone begrudge such a noble calling?
For a man who spent his best years in life engaged in a violent sport like boxing, it can provide some catharsis to be a peace-loving pastor.
Maybe he needs peace and quiet. Let him be. He has already done the country proud well enough than most of us.
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