MANILA, Philippines - A total of 113 congressmen missed work on their first day back from recess, coincidentally the day after the WBO welterweight title fight between Sarangani representative Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez.
The roll call on Monday showed that only 172 of the 285 congressmen returned to work on Monday at the House of Representatives.
This figure is 87 more than the 27 congressmen who had secured travel authorities for overseas travel for this time.
Congressmen need to secure travel authorities if they are to travel overseas during session days to avoid being marked as absent from session.
No reason for their absence has been given.
Meanwhile, it is unclear if there will be a victory party for Pacquiao at the House when he returns.
Pacquiao's colleagues at the House are disappointed that his victory over Mexican rival Juan Manuel Marquez was not decisive and controversial.
Over 60 congressmen watched Pacquiao defeat Marquez via a majority decision, which was a far cry from the decisive knockout victory that many boxing analysts were predicting.
Still, the lawmakers were happy that Pacquiao was named the winner.
But majority leader Boyet Gonzales said that the victory was controversial and questions will continue to crop up regarding the decision. He added there is no party being planned for Pacquiao at the moment.
House minority leader Edcel Lagman was evasive when asked about his opinion, saying he stopped watching the bout before the judges' decision could be announced.
Lagman said, however, that the doubters should respect the decision of the judges.
Marikina Rep. Miro Quimbo pointed out that compared to Pacquiao's previous opponents, Marquez may have the Filipino boxer's number and knows how to neutralize Pacquiao's moves inside the ring.
Quimbo is now calling for a fourth bout between Pacquiao and Marquez to settle all doubts about the fight.
Leyte representative Lucy Torres concurred with Quimbo's observation, and added that most people are used to Pacquiao clobbering his opponents.
Pacquiao said after the fight that he won clearly, and added that he plans to go back to the Philippines and "do some work in the office."
Some senators defended Pacquiao's performance, however, saying that Filipinos may have set their expectations too high.
"Pati ang odds masyadong lopsided in his favor, so inaasahan natin na madali ang panalo n'ya," said Senator Panfilo Lacson. "Nang nakita natin na hindi nag-live up sa expectations natin, natural ang perception nating mukhang mahina, kaya mukhang natalo."
"But I don't think so, because meron naman CompuBox na nagsabing mas marami s'yang landed punches," he added.
CompuBox is a program that determines the amount of punches thrown and landed by a fighter during boxing matches. Their figures show that Pacquiao threw and landed more punches, jabs and power punches than Marquez throughout the 12-round fight.
Senate Minority Leader Alan Cayetano also defended Pacquiao, saying he remains "one of the greatest fighters in boxing history."
"The problem is we had raised our expectations so high," Cayetano said. "This of course does not make Pacquiao any less of a great fighter."
"I am sure that if he is made to face other equally great fighters, we'll witness the same dominant Pacquiao that we're used to watching," he added. -- From reports by RG Cruz and Ryan Chua, ABS-CBN News