MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will suspend offensive military operations during the fight on Sunday (Saturday in the US) of 7-division champion Manny Pacquiao against Mexico’s 3-time world champion Antonio Margarito.
AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta said the move to suspend military operations is to allow soldiers to watch, cheer and pray for their fellow soldier, reserve Master Sergeant Pacquiao, in his historic match.
"Tomorrow we will suspend all military offensive operations, we will only be on a defensive mode and we expect our enemies to the same,” he said.
Before entering boxing, Pacquiao was a runner for the military in General Santos City. He was honored with several military ranks and awards every time he won a championship match.
Mabanta said that it is very likely that even enemies of the state would accept the temporary ceasefire as he believes that they too will be watching the fight of Pacquiao and Margarito.
In the past fights of Pacquiao, there were no reported encounters between the AFP, the New Peoples Army (NPA) and other rebel and terrorist groups.
Mabanta even joked that he wished that Pacquiao would fight more frequently so that there will be more ceasefires in the country.
As part of the uplifting of morale and welfare for soldiers, the AFP will host a free live viewing of the fight in major camps of the military. Thousands of soldiers are expected to watch the fight and cheer on Pacquiao.
The Philippine National Police in its headquarters in Camp Crame will also host a free live viewing of the Pacquiao fight at their multi-purpose hall.
It is also expected that like in the past, the crime rate would go down as even criminals will watch the Pacquiao fight. - ANC