Pacquiao to study in UP before Congress opens

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 20 2010 11:48 PM | Updated as of May 21 2010 10:56 AM

Manny Pacquiao posing with several legislators during his visit to the House of Representatives in 2008.

MANILA, Philippines - Newly-elected congressman of Sarangani province Manny Pacquiao seems bent on becoming successful in performing his legislative duties in a way that is no different from how he has won his championship bouts – by preparing hard.

In an interview with ABS-CBN News, Pacquiao disclosed that he will enroll in a 1-week crash course in the University of the Philippines to learn the protocols in Congress.

“Yes, magi-study ako ng isang linggo para pag-aralan ang protocol sa Kongreso... Papasok ako sa UP College of Public Administration and Governance para magkaroon tayo ng kaalaman sa Congress,” said the congressman-elect.

The Filipino boxing icon also said that he will continue his course in business management before taking up law.

While serving as representative of Sarangani, he would like to see a university and a hospital established in his district.

“Una kong ipapasang batas siguro ay ‘yung creating a university in my district, in my province, and also creating a provincial hospital,” he said.

Pacquiao, the reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion, also promised to remain a simple man despite being a legislator.

“Sinabi ko sa mga kababayan ko, kelangan ‘wag tayong magpakain sa sistema. Kung p'wede nga'ng mag-sandals lang, gagawin ko. Bakit ka pa poporma? Ang importante, kung anong magawa mo,” he said.

This early, though, Pacquiao appears to have already learned some political skills.

Despite having allied his local party to the Nacionalista Party of Sen. Manny Villar, he paid a courtesy call to leading presidential candidate Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, in his home in Quezon City on Tuesday night.

Manny Pacquiao testing a seat in the House of Representatives in 2008.

Pacquiao expressed support for the incoming administration. He clarified, however, that he is not moving to the Liberal Party.

“Para sa akin, hindi importante kung anong partido, ang importante makadala ako ng mga project. Siyempre si Noynoy ang nanalo, dapat sinusuportahan ang administrasyon, kasi pag ‘di tayo susuporta ‘di tayo uunlad,” he said.

He has already talked with Villar, consoling the senator for his loss in the presidential race.

“Nakausap ko siya ilang araw na ang lumipas... siyempre grabe ang effort niya sa pangangampanya. Ganun talaga, ‘di naman sa lahat ng pagkakataon may nananalo. May natatalo… bilog ang mundo,” said Pacquiao.

During the campaign, a television advertisement for Villar even featured Pacquiao alluding to Aquino's lackluster record as 3-term congressman and senator.

This caused some friction in his friendship with Noynoy’s sister, actress and television host Kris Aquino.

But Kris announced Tuesday night that she had made up with the pound-for-pound king. -- From a report of Dyan Castillejo, ABS-CBN News