By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
A few hours before Senator Manny Pacquiao steps in the four-cornered ring, Malacañang expressed support for the Filipino boxing champ as he attempts to raise the Filipino flag anew under the international spotlight.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Pacquiao’s fight will surely unite Filipinos anew.
“The Palace wishes Senator Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Pacquiao all the best as he faces Lucas Matthysse for the WBA welterweight title in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia,” he said.
“Dubbed as the Fight of Champions, this bout will certainly unite Filipinos here and abroad as the Pambansang Kamao enters the ring to banner the Philippine flag,” he added.
“We likewise pray for his success as he again carries Pinoy pride in the international boxing arena,” he continued.
Pacquiao’s fight will be a more special one as President Duterte is expected to watch the Filipino boxing pride fight for the WBA welterweight title in Kuala Lumpur.
Among the other government officials reported to watch Pacquiao’s fight are Bureau of Corrections chief Ronald Dela Rosa and Solicitor General Jose Calida.
It was announced that Duterte will watch the boxing match of one of his strongest allies in the Senate early this week. Duterte arrived in Kuala Lumpur late Saturday evening.
Pacquiao’s match marks the first day of Duterte’s two-day “private trip” to Kuala Lumpur. On Monday, Duterte will meet with Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to discuss issues on security and law and order.
Duterte brought along with him a small delegation as the trip was described as a private visit. Joining the President are Roque, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Cayetano, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Special Assistant to the President Christopher Go, and Mindanao Development Authority Chairman Datu Abul Khayr Alonto.