MANILA, Philippines – Sarangani Representative Manny Pacquiao made a
rare appearance in the House of Representatives on Monday, only to beg
off from commenting on the Bangsamoro basic bill as he has yet to read
Surprising reporters in the House press office, the boxing icon said
he would like to reserve his comments on whether he would still supports
the bill following the involvement of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front
(MILF in the Mamasapano attack that left 44 Special Action Force (SAF)
“Mahirap gumawa ng comment kapag hindi mo pa nababasa ‘yun,” Pacquiao
said of the bill that seeks to implement the government’s peace deal
with the MILF.
Pacquiao is representative of Sarangani province in Mindanao, which
would benefit from the implementation of the bill that would create a
more politically autonomous Bangsamoro entity to replace the Autonomous
Region in Muslim Mindanao.
“Basta ang hangad natin dyan, kapayapaan, katahimikan, pagkakaisa…
Pag-aaralan nating mabuti yan kung ano ang nilalaman dyan. Mahirap
magbigay ng comment,” added the Mindanao solon who was only able to show
in the chamber for four session days.
When asked how he would like to participate in the House debates on
the bill, Pacquiao said “Depende sa mapag-uusapan sa debate.”
According to House records, Pacquiao was technically “deemed
present”—meaning his absence was excused—for three days. He spent 25
days on “constituency work” and registered two unexcused absences.
The part-time legislator, actor, singer, boxer and basketball coach
said he sympathizes with the families of the 44 slain SAF cops, who were
killed in an attack by the MILF on their way to take down two
international terrorists allegedly coddled by the Moro rebels in
The Mindanao lawmaker, however, said he does not want to prejudge the MILF.
“Nakikiramay ako sa bawat pamilyang namatayan. Mahirap maghusga
ngayon, kasi mayroon naman tayong under Article 1 of the Constitution,
na lahat ng tao ay entitled sa due process,” Pacquiao said.
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