Pacquiao good only in boxing, and ‘not elsewhere’ — Roque

Published July 6, 2021, 2:19 PM

by Raymund Antonio

Malacañang wishes Senator Manny Pacquiao good luck on his fight versus Errol Spence on August 21, but Presidential spokesman Harry Roque threw shade at the boxing champion-turned-senator, saying his greatness does not go beyond the boxing ring.

Senator Manny Pacquiao and Presidential spokesman Harry Roque (Manila Bulletin/File Photos)

“Whether we wish him luck, of course, we wish all Filipinos the best of luck in whatever they do best,” the Palace official said in his virtual presser on Tuesday, July 6.

The spokesperson couldn’t help but subtly criticize Pacquiao, though.

“Pagdating po kay Manny Pacquiao (When it comes to Manny Pacquiao) he’s best in the boxing ring and probably not good elsewhere,” Roque said.

The senator and President Duterte, who both came from the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) with Pacquiao as president and Duterte as chairman, had a falling out recently.

READ: Duterte-Pacquiao relationship ‘not as cordial as it was’ — Palace

Pacquiao started criticizing the President’s “defeatist” stance on China and alleged that the present administration is more corrupt than its predecessors. He also fought with PDP-Laban Vice Chairman and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi on the party’s internal processes.

The Chief Executive publicly humiliated Pacquiao, telling him to study foreign policy first before expressing his opinions about the Philippines’ relationship with China. He also chided the senator for supposed allegations of corruption in his administration.

Pacquiao, who is scheduled to fight Spence on August 21 for the World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation bantamweight crowns, flew to the United States over the weekend to continue his training there.

But this was not before he called on the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to investigate four government agencies—the Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and Department of Health (DOH).

READ: Roque raps Pacquiao’s ‘weak’ corruption allegations vs gov’t

Senator Richard Gordon, the chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, however, wondered how to proceed with the investigation with the proponent absent from the hearings.