MANILA - A House leader on Tuesday urged his colleagues to skip the November 15 bout between Filipino boxing champ Manny Pacquiao and Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto due to urgent bills which must be passed.
"At this time that House quorum is much needed, maybe they will try their best to skip witnessing this particular championship bout of Manny Pacquiao. Magkakahiyaan na rin," House Majority Floor Leader, Iloilo 3rd District Rep. Arthur Defensor told radio dzMM.
Defensor expressed hope that with congressmen's sensitivity to possible negative public opinion, and their "stand to the call of high sense of duty," only very few lawmakers will watch the Pacquiao-Cotto battle in Las Vegas, Nevada on November 15.
There were reports that at least 20 congressmen, including House Speaker Prospero Nograles, may watch the fight.
A Philippine Star report said Nograles is now in Washington to meet with his counterpart, US House speaker Nancy Pelosi and a group of American lawmakers.
There were speculations that Nograles, who has never missed a Pacquiao fight, might extend his trip to watch the match in Las Vegas.
Extending his stay in the US would mean skipping the first day of the resumption of session on Monday (November 9).
Nograles, however, had assured before leaving for Washington that he would be back for the resumption of session.
Defensor said the House would need its members' presence at the resumption of session to rush the passage of the proposed 2010 national budget on third and final reading.
He said the House should rush its passage to give its counterparts in the Senate ample time to deliberate on the budget.
The Iloilo congressman added that the lower chamber should also focus on passage on third and final reading of an election-related bill, which would define what a candidate should and should not do during and before the campaign period.