The Outside View
By Judge Panambulan M. Mimbisa (ret.)
Of the myriad of things that can be said of Senator Emmanuel” Manny” Pacquiao, perhaps the closest that can describe him best is ‘Awesome.’ But even this is an understatement given what he had done to place the Philippines in the world map, recognizable many times over than any time in the past one hundred years. He has transcended geographic, racial, and historical boundaries so much so that you can hear his name, clear on audio, being chanted by spectators in all his boxing matches very much louder than those of his opponents. He has become the most discernible icon in all the sport world in the ranks of Michael Jordan of basketball, Tiger Woods of Golf, Cristiano Ronaldo of Soccer and Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal of Tennis. He is the Philippines un-official Ambassador par excellence.
Senator Pacquiao is awesome in terms of kindness and benevolence as he shares his blessings out of his earnings in boxing with the poor and downtrodden sectors of our society. He is awesome as a public servant, notably as Senator of the Philippines, having authored several legislations such as the National Bible Day, Increase in the salary of senior members of our veterans and several other bills of national significance. He is also the chairman of the Committee of Public Works and the Committee of Ethics in the Senate which he holds with poise, dignity, and honor. He is awesome as boxing champion, achieving a feat, which up to this very day, remains just a dream to all the boxers in the world, that of being the eight division world boxing champion. This achievement becomes all the more significant and unbelievable for having lost in at least two occasions in his early boxing career, to two boxers without any credential of making it big in this sport. In boxing, no one cast a bigger shadow than Senator Manny Pacquiao.
He is awesome as a father to his children, a son to his parents, a brother to his siblings and as a husband to his beautiful wife Jinky Jamora Pacquiao. He sets the example for his children to emulate the obedient son to his parents for others to follow, a doting brother to his siblings to keep the knot that binds them firmly held in his hands as the eldest among them, as a caring, protective, and loving husband to wife.
This write have had the opportunity to set down and discuss with the people very close to the Senator on his No Vote on the bill extending the Bangsamoro Transition Authority to 2025. They were one in expressing surprise when they were told that a number of Muslim leaders look at his no vote as a manifestation of his bias against the Muslims so much so that he is now being bashed as anti-muslim. These persons who included Wahid Bualan, Barangay Chairman of Tambler, General Santos City, one of the closest friend of the Senator turned serious and began his explanation by saying that this was farthest from the truth. He told this writer that all his life Manny had been associated with the Muslims and in fact had also worked with them as a youngster in General Santos City.
Chairman Bualan said that he indeed voted no against the passage of the bill extending the term of office of the BARMM officials and the Bangsamoro Transition Authority but not because he is anti-muslim but because he believes that the Muslims have now attained a degree of literacy and audacity on contemporary events as the rest of the Filipinos. He said that he truly believes that the Muslims have now come to a degree of discernment as would be able to elect their own leaders effectively and truly in their own terms and on their own assessments. He said that the Senator believes in the capability of the Filipino Muslims, to run their own affairs and choose the leaders whom they will place in position for their governance. The Senator emphasized that the choice of regional leaders should not be left to imperial Manila and other national leaders because the right of suffrage should be exercised directly by the people.
This write up is not about and has nothing to do with the bid of Senator Manny Pacquiao to become the next President of the Philippines. This is about his character as a person and how he is perceived by the Filipino people as a family man, and as a world boxing champion and one who has come from the bottom of society to where he is now. It was a struggle marked by a passion to survive and to overcome.
If he can, then you can and I can also be Manny Pacquiao.
Let us all be like Manny Pacquiao.
The Author: Atty. Panambulan “Bing” Mimbisa is the Founding Secretary General of the United Muslim Democrats of the Philippines (UMDP), the only Muslim political party that has attained national prominence and stature for having produced two Philippine Presidents, one Vice President and one in the making, and, a Speaker of the House of Representatives.