The military will stop its offensives on Sunday to allow soldiers watch the year’s biggest boxing match between their idol Manny Pacquiao and Oscar dela Hoya, an Army spokesman said Saturday.
“Tigil muna siguro ang military offensive pero habang nanonood, mga armalite nasa tabi. Mahirap na, baka malusutan (Military offensives will be suspended, but our guns should be on our sides because some groups might take advantage),” Philippine Army spokesman, Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner Jr. said.
Brawner said the military will continue its security operations during the Pacquiao-Dela Hoya fight on Sunday.
The Army spokesman also announced Saturday that military camps in Metro Manila were transformed into viewing areas for the soldiers who want to watch “The Dream Match.”
Wide screen projectors, large speakers and thousands of chairs were set up inside the gymnasiums of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo for the expected turn-out of thousands of soldiers and their families to watch the fight for free.
Gymnasiums of other military headquarters, including the Army, the Philippine Navy, and the Philippine Air Force, have also been set up for the fight.
The fight will be aired live in the military camps. Pacquiao faces dela Hoya at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
For better seats and a more comfortable viewing, a fee of P500.00 is charged for those who want to watch at the AFP Theater in Camp Aguinaldo.
Brawner said soldiers are united in their support for Pacquiao, who is a reserved master sergeant of the AFP, despite being an underdog in the fight.
"Kahit David and Goliath ang laban, tiwala kami mananalo si Pacquiao kasi magbibigay siya ng karangalan sa Pilipino," Brawner said.
"Nakaka-relate ang mga sundalo sa kanya at ang buong Pilipinas dahil ang buhay ay inspirasyon sa lahat ng Pilipino," Air Force spokesman Maj. Gerardo Zamudio said.
Brawner also announced that in Camp O’Donnell in Tarlac province, delegates from nine Asean countries will also gather and watch the fight.
The delegates to the Asean Armies Rifle Meet, which consists of Brunei, Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, will be rooting for their fellow Asian Manny Pacquiao.
Lt. Col. Sorawit Parncharoen of the Royal Thai Army said he is a fan of Pacquiao and “we are all cheering for him,” referring to the other military delegates. Jay Ruiz, ABS-CBN News