House Deputy Speaker and Cagayan de Oro City Representative Rufus Rodriguez on Monday called on critics of embattled Senator Manny Pacquiao to give him some peace of mind as he prepares for his fight against American boxer Errol Spence Jr. on August 21.
Rodriguez said Pacquiao’s critics and allies especially in the Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), should give him some space to allow him to focus on his training.
“I am calling for a ceasefire on attacks against our boxing icon to allow him to focus single-mindedly on his training. He has to prepare well for his fight. There should be nothing to distract and bother him,” Rodriguez said.
The lawmaker pointed out Pacquiao’s “is fighting for the Filipino nation and the Filipino flag.”
“Let us all support him because he brings pride and honor to our country. We will have time for divisive politics after the fight,” he stressed.
Pacquiao is acting president of the fractious PDP-Laban but has been ousted by the faction of Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi last July 17, Saturday after he was sworn in as party president by President Duterte, the party’s chairman.
Sen. Aquilino Pimentel Jr., the party’s executive vice chairman, and Pacquiao’s ally maintained that the July 16, and 17 was illegal and against the party’s constitution.
Rodriguez urged the two factions to elevate their leadership dispute before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Supreme Court, after Pacquiao’s fight.
“These are the proper fora to resolve this issue,” he said.
In the meantime, Rodriguez said he hopes Cusi would now go back to address the country’s energy-related problems like the red and yellow alerts signifying short supply in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon.
All this time, he noted that Pacquiao, has been very busy with his training and has not been responding to criticisms, including below the belt and personal attacks against him.
“I sincerely wish and pray for Sen. Manny’s clear and convincing victory over Spence,” he said.