Pacquiao paid for gov't officials' trips to Vegas

Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN News North America

Posted at Nov 07 2016 02:21 PM | Updated as of Nov 07 2016 02:43 PM

Manny Pacquiao (R) of the Philippines poses with referee Kenny Bayless following his victory over WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., November 5, 2016. Steve Marcus, Las Vegas Sun/Reuters

LAS VEGAS—Filipino boxing icon Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao made history anew last Saturday after he became the first active senator to win a world championship with his unanimous decision victory over Jessie Vargas in Las Vegas.

The win came in front of some of Pacquiao's colleagues in the government, as he personally invited some senators and congressmen to watch his bout.

Pacquiao bought some two thousands tickets – over a million dollars' worth – and also flew in some of his friends from the government himself.

"It's an honor na lahat sila, naka-suporta sa akin. Si Bato, Aguirre , at marami pang iba. 'Yung mga kasama na congressmen, si Toby Tiangco, Senator Villanueva. Maraming kaibigan na pumunta dito."

"Libre ito ni Manny," said Philippine National Police chief Dir. Gen. Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa. "Lahat sila, galing ito sa Senator. Baka sabihin nila, government funds. Hindi naman ako ganoon kayaman."

Dela Rosa accompanied Pacquiao inside the ring, but perhaps the one guest who had the best seat in the house and got most of the attention was retired American boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. The unbeaten fighter sat at ringside, just behind the broadcast team.

"Nothing personal," Pacquiao said. "Kaibigan naman lahat, basta wala sa ring."

Despite the celebration following Pacquiao's victory, the likes of Dela Rosa and Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre still had to go to work after a jail house firefight left Leyte Mayor Ronaldo Espinosa shot dead.

The Senate's budget session also begins this week – a session that Pacquiao will rush to get to. 

The boxer and his friends from the government are all expected to be back in the Philippines by Tuesday to get back to work.

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