Leaders of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, August 10 assured the awarding of the Congressional Medal of Distinction on boxers Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam and Eumir Marcial for their outstanding performances in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics that merited them medals.
Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, together with Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Romualdez and Minority Leader and Abang Lingkod Rep. Joseph Stephen Paduano, filed House Resolution proposing to commend Petecio with the congressional medal of distinction for giving the country its first-ever Olympic silver medal in women’s boxing.
Similar resolutions for the awarding of the Medal of Distinction were filed for Paalam and Marcial, who have won silver and bronze medals in men’s boxing flyweight and middleweight categories, respectively.
Meanwhile, Rep. Manuel Dalipe (2nd District, Zamboanga City) filed HR 2084 to bestow upon Marcial the Congressional Medal of Distinction for winning bronze in boxing.
Dalipe said Marcial hails from Barangay Lunzuran which is covered by Zamboanga City’s 2nd district.
“Marcial, who possesses knock out power, has further solidified the Filipino people’s mark in the world thru his Olympic games victory,” Dalipe said in the resolution.
In proposing the congressional award for the three boxers, Velasco stressed that the honorees are “considered our national heroes in sports.”
“Winning a medal at the Olympics was no easy feat as our boxers had to compete against the best athletes in the world,” Velasco said.
The Congressional Medal of Distinction is given to Filipino achievers in sports, business, medicine, science, and other fields. It was the same award given by Congress to weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz five years ago when she won a silver medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Following Diaz’s historic gold medal win in the Tokyo Games, the House—through a resolution filed by Velasco, Romualdez and Paduano—created the Congressional Medal of Excellence to be given exclusively to Olympic gold medalists.
A separate resolution, filed by the three House leaders and two other lawmakers, makes Diaz the first recipient of the award. Both resolutions were adopted by the House during the plenary session held last August 3.
Velasco said the Congressional Medal of Excellence was created to give honor and commendation to “exceptional modern-day national heroes in sports who win the gold medal in the Olympics.”
“The award will immortalize the achievements of Olympic gold medalists and give them a legacy to leave behind by providing future generations with inspirational lessons that they can take to heart,” Velasco pointed out.
In HR 2093, the House leadership said Petecio deserves utmost emulation and recognition for her “remarkable feat in the Olympics, and for bringing great honor and pride to the Filipinos and the whole country.”
It described Petecio’s triumph as “significant” as it marked the “first Olympic medal for a Filipina boxer in a nation where boxing is highly celebrated and revered, perhaps second only to basketball.”
“Petecio’s win is also noteworthy because a Filipina has brought home the long-sought honor for a sports considered by majority of Filipinos to be the domain of men,” the House leadership added.