26 congressmen to watch Pacman bout

By Jess Diaz, The Philippine Star

Posted at Dec 07 2012 10:11 AM | Updated as of Dec 08 2012 01:16 AM

MANILA, Philippines - At least 26 of Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao’s peers in the House of Representatives are watching his fight with Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez this weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II told reporters yesterday that 26 lawmakers had sought authority to travel to the United States.

“I suppose they will be watching Pacman,” he said, using the boxer’s moniker.

“They are traveling on their own at no expense to taxpayers. We want them to return in time for next week’s deliberations on the RH (reproductive health) bill.

“But I assure you that we will have a quorum to tackle the bill again despite their absence.”

He could not remember the names of all 26 and it would be unfair if he would just identify a few, Gonzales said.

In the past, most of those who flew to the US to watch Pacquiao were lawmakers from Mindanao.

Two weeks ago, the champion boxer-lawmaker gifted many House members with a watch that he is endorsing. Each limited-edition timepiece is worth about P30,000.

In the wake of criticism, Pacquiao’s wife Jinkee said they find happiness in sharing their fortune. Her husband is the only billionaire in the House.