Pacman vs Rios: Live feed to Leyte

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Tacloban City will witness a different kind of punch tomorrow.

The capital of Leyte province, which was battered by Super Typhoon Yolanda earlier this month, will be treated to free public viewing of the fight between Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios as three wide screens are being set up in the city to enable typhoon victims to watch the fight.

National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) executive director Eduardo del Rosario said that the city government, in coordination with service providers, is setting up wide screens at the Tacloban Airport, the city hall and the city’s Astrodome.

“Since the communication lines have bogged down in Tacloban City, Task Force Yolanda, including the telecommunication companies,  has focused its attention on setting up a satellite link for a collective feed in three areas in the city to ensure that the people can watch the bout via live streaming,” Del Rosario said.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will offer free viewing of the bout of Army reserve officer Pacquiao tomorrow to boost the morale of its soldiers.

The bout will be shown live at the AFP Wellness Center and AFP Medical Center in Camp Aguinaldo, a memorandum by the Office of the Chief Special Service furnished to the media yesterday showed.

“The free showing of the bout aims to uplift the morale and the welfare of our soldiers and their dependents,” Capt. Mark Posadas, research head of the AFP Public Affairs Office, said.

Posadas said about 1,300 people are expected to watch the boxing match at the AFP Wellness Center while 1,000 others may do the same at AFP Medical Center in V. Luna, Quezon City.

He gave assurance that the live streaming of the bout between Pacquiao and American boxer Brandon Rios would not affect the relief operations for typhoon victims.

“Foreign military guests who are here are also invited,” Posadas said.

The Army, Pacquiao’s mother unit, will also offer free viewing in three venues.

Army civil-military operations group chief Col. Arnulfo Burgos Jr. said the bout will be shown at the Army Officers Clubhouse, Non-Commissioned Officers Clubhouse and Army General Hospital all in Fort Bonifacio. These venues can accommodate more than 1,000 viewers.

As of yesterday, three Navy units announced plans to provide live streaming of the match, namely Naval Forces West in Palawan, Naval Forces Southern Luzon in Albay and the Philippine Fleet in Cavite.

There is no word yet as to whether the Air Force will offer live streaming of the boxing match.

Free live screening at PNP cancelled

The Philippine National Police (PNP) traditionally treats policemen at the national headquarters with free live screening of Pacquiao fights at the PNP Multi-Purpose Center, but not this time.

Senior Superintendent Reuben Theodore Sindac, chief of the PNP Public Information Office, said the screening of the Pacquiao-Rios fight has been cancelled because the sponsor, the Public Safety Mutual Benefits Funds Inc., decided to donate the cost of the pay-per-view to the victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda.

“The savings... will be consolidated with the relief effort and PNP caravan scheduled for next week to be sent to Samar and Leyte area for our fellow policemen victimized by the super typhoon,” Sindac said.

Another reason why the free viewing has been cancelled is to avoid disruption of the relief operations of policemen. 

Belmonte rooting for Pacquiao

Meanwhile, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said he was rooting for Pacquiao, the representative of Sarangani province.

Some of the colleagues of the boxing champ in the House of Representatives will be watching at ringside.

“I’m not keeping track of those who are watching this fight, I don‘t think this is one of the functions of being the Speaker but personally I’m rooting for Manny Pacquiao,” Belmonte told reporters.

Belmonte also said he would set up television screens in different barangays in his district in Quezon City so the people would be able to watch the bout live.

Belmonte earlier said the calamities that hit the Visayas may have dampened the enthusiasm of lawmakers to attend the fight.

But Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone, who had a previous invitation before disaster hit his province, said he would not be attending the boxing bout to attend to his constituents.

Other close friends of Pacquiao in the chamber who declined to be identified also said they have sent word to him that they would not go to Macau because of the serial misfortunes at home.

Pacquiao, an Army reservist with the rank of lieutenant colonel, will be facing Rios in Macau tomorrow for the World Boxing Organization International Welterweight title.

He is seeking to redeem his pride after back-to-back losses to boxers Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez. – With Cecille Suerte Felipe, Jaime Laude, Paolo Romero











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