MANILA, Philippines – Boxing superstar and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao took a short break from his busy training schedule in Los Angeles to endorse an American politician.
Pacquiao flew to to Las Vegas on Friday (Saturday in Manila) to join the political rally of US Senate Majority Floor Leader Harry Reid who is running for re-election.
Pacquiao stood tall in his suit as he stood side by side with Reid.
"I came here to support Harry Reid on his candidacy,” Pacquiao said when addressing the crowd. “We are not only to vote but we are supposed to convince our friends and relatives to vote for Harry Reid, thank you very much.”
Pacquiao is a legislator himself, having been elected as the Philippines' lone representative of the province of Sarangani. He is set to fight Mexican toughie Antonio Margarito on November 13.
The senator, in return, expressed his admiration for Pacquiao.
"What makes Manny Pacquiao really tough is, I believe, because he fights for those who can’t fight for themselves. That's why Manny is chosen into public service in his home country where he is a member of Congress," said Reid.
The US senator is close to Filipinos in Nevada, having sponsored laws for the benefit of the Filipino World War II veterans. He also declared the month of October as Filipino-American history month.
Most of those who attended Reid’s political rally were Filipinos who wanted to catch a glimpse of Pacquiao.
"I think he is such a hero that everybody wants to turn out to see him. To have him helping Democrats and Sen. Reid is very important," said US Congresswoman Dina Titus of Nevada.
"Tulad ng mga Pilipino sa Las Vegas (Like other Filipinos in Las Vegas), I am very proud that Manny Pacquiao is supporting Harry Reid, it is good for the Filipinos in America and Filipinos in the Philippines," said Dr. Jun Aragon.
On Saturday (Sunday in Manila), Pacquiao is set to meet the daughter of boxing legend Muhammad Ali, Laila Ali, in Los Angeles.
The younger Ali is a former professional boxer, who fought in the women’s super middleweight division. – With a report from Bev Llorente, ABS-CBN North America Bureau