21 February 2016

Manny Pacquiao Increases His Chance of Winning

Manny Pacman Pacquiao
Critics will probably grind their teeth in frustration that despite his anti-gay comment and the loss of a endorsement deal with Nike Philippines, world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao will probably still win a seat to the country’s senate in May.

Nike, the world’s largest sportswear maker, canceled its contract with the 37 year-old boxer-turned-politician, who has been the world champion in eight different weight divisions, after he described gays as "worse than animals". So what? Their record at protecting despicable species are still well known, which is why they have not dropped Kobe Bryant yet despite his previous anti-gay slurs.

It should be noted that voters in the mostly Catholic Philippines will not abandon support for the country’s biggest sporting hero, who is running for one of 12 vacant senatorial seats up for grabs in the May 9 election, in favor of protecting one of the most hated groups in society.

The fighter has apologized for the comments, and analysts reckoned the controversy has caused limited damage to his campaign.

"Pacquiao has clearly offended the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community with his comments on same sex marriage, but this group represents a minority and this will not affect the boxer’s popularity among the voters," Benito Lim, political science professor at the Jesuit-run Ateneo de Manila University, told Reuters.

"He may still win in the elections."

Many ordinary citizen believed Pacquiao only expressed the opinion of millions of Filipinos who are tired of listening to what is happening in the U.S. after their courts rules in favor of same-sex marriage last year.

Instead of focusing on attempts to suppressed Pacquiao's anti-gay sentiment, Filipinos are more interested in what happens in April, when he tries to win back the WBO welterweight title he lost last year to Floyd Mayweather.

Billed as his final fight, Pacquiao is going up against American Timothy Bradley.

"The criticism against Pacquiao has no effect on us," said Annabelle Magsipoc, a government employee, told Reuters Television, adding that the boxer retains popular support in the community.

"Actually, many people really wanted to say what Pacquiao said about same-sex marriage, but some people are trying to make this an election issue," she said.

Independent opinion polls showed Pacquiao, a two-term congressman, consistently ranked eighth with 35 percent support in a field of four dozen candidates vying for one of the 12 vacant seats in the upper house of Congress.

Gay and lesbian groups have called on Filipinos not to vote for the boxing icon for his television comment on same-sex marriage. This almost a repeat of their unsuccessful campaign in 2012 after he quoted from the Bible to warn against homosexual activities.

Same-sex marriage is not allowed in the Philippines where more than 80 percent of the 100 million population is Roman Catholic.

Pacquiao has converted from being a Roman Catholic to a more conservative evangelical Protestant, voting against bills in the lower house of Congress on divorce and same-sex marriage.

So, let us all ignore the blatant insults hurled by gay and lesbian showbiz personalities because what they did for this country is much more trivial compared to what Pacquiao has done many years ago.