The Wheel and Axle

No, Esquire, Manny no longer deserves our respect.

by on Jul.04, 2017, under Snark, Society, Travel & Culture

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Meme Credits: Change Scamming. Also, he should quit politics, too, and just go away.

A recent article from Esquire Philippines, published the day before the Pacquiao/Horn boxing match, posits that Manny Pacquiao still deserves our respect, at least respect for him as a boxer if not as a politician or whatever new persona he’s decided to pursue (preacher? basketball player? who knows what’s next?).

Perhaps if this were the year 2008 and Pacquiao still had not said and done all the things he has managed to say and do in the last few years.

But alas, it is 2017, and we cannot discount everything that Pacquiao has contributed (or not contributed) to our country’s socio-political climate since then. We cannot discuss him in a vacuum when the cultural discourse surrounding him has radically changed because of his own appalling words and actions.

In the wake of Pacquiao’s subsequent defeat at the relative newcomer Jeff Horn’s fists last Sunday, it becomes even more imperative to challenge the notion that someone as toxic as Manny Pacquiao is still a worthy recipient of our respect and honor.

As always, pockets of rabid Pinoy fans have switched to the autopilot reaction of “there was cheating” and “he was robbed,” and while I’m no boxing expert, I can only say this is what karma must taste like and that Pacquiao deserved this outcome so very much.

Meme Credit: The
Legacy of Miriam Defensor Santiago

Never mind for now the other issues and first focus on what a gigantic arse he was prior to this match: he belittled his opponent at a presscon by being tardy and by toying with his phone the whole time. In his arrogance at thinking his newbie rival was a lesser person than he was just because he’s a boxing legend, Pacquiao ended up swallowing his pride by getting his posterior handed to him in the ring.

Of course, the problem with Pacquiao isn’t just that moment of self-importance during the said presscon. Rather, that was symptomatic of the problem with him overall: that he has come to a point where he and his acolytes think he is some kind of god when his downfall really began years ago as his true colors started to unravel in front of the public.

Even if we discount the violent homophobic statements (which we really shouldn’t) and past womanizing (let’s try very hard to pretend he’s now faithful despite evidence to the contrary), this is a man who, in the last few years, has:

1. joked about the death penalty, at a senate session no less,
2. tried to game the system by finding ways to avoid paying taxes,
3. enabled a regime by being a willing puppet in silencing the opposition,
4. lied to the public about his commitment to government service by returning to boxing despite an election campaign promise,
5. a dismal performance record as a government official based on his attendance and a lack of relevant legislation,
6. been consequently a waste of taxpayers’ money,
7. the gall to use Jesus Christ‘s name to justify his behaviors and to ignore the separation of church and state.

He is not someone we can continue to consider as a bearer of #PinoyPride. The blunders and folly are now way too many that we can no longer compartmentalize and say we respect him as a boxer but not as a politician.

His attempt at engaging Jeff Horn, which backfired spectacularly, is a testament to the fact that he is into it not for the sport itself but for pure and utter greed. It was not done for love of the sport but simply for money and personal pride, an attempt to regain income and relevance after his humiliating defeat at the hands of Floyd Mayweather.

Meme Credits: Change Scamming again. They’re always on point.

The rhetoric that he does it “for the Filipino people” is hollow given that he declined the Olympics to “prioritize his legislative duties;” I guess there’s no money in representing the country in the Olympics. And we all know what happened afterwards regarding his “boxing retirement,” right? Moreover, since then, what exactly has he substantially done as a senador (besides doing stupid things, that is)?

In other words, this man is a brazen liar who treats Filipinos, including his very own fans, like the idiots that he is – a brazen liar who does not truly respect his own sport at this point. How can we then respect him as a boxer?

He thus no longer demonstrates any behavior that can justify a distinction between respecting him as an athlete versus respecting him as a politician.

It’s time we recognize that the sum of his character and actions nowadays is more than enough for us to say that this is a person who should no longer command any respect from anyone who has basic ethics and common sense.

No matter what kind of accolades he has received in the past.

Let’s end this on a more pleasant note and congratulate Jeff Horn for putting the senator in his place and for doing something the rest of us could only dream of. As my friend Maoi said, “I’ve always wanted to punch a Philippine Senator in the face… and get paid for it!”

Jeff deserves one more round of congratulations. And #realtalk: he’s significantly easier on the eyes. Don’t even try to deny it.

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