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Opinion

Pacman: The honest man who will not make it

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez - The Freeman

Honesty is an essential qualification to go to heaven. But most honest people do not make it to Malacañang. I know of only a few honest persons who became presidents: Don Sergio Osmeña Sr., Ramon F. Magsaysay, Carlos P. Garcia, Diosdado P. Macapagal (the father only), Corazon C. Aquino, and her son.

I am not sure of all the rest. But there is one I shall not name who is clearly not honest. I think most of us know him but many choose to be blind. Let them be. There are mountains of documents to prove the truth. The courts have already decided, here and abroad. Billions had been discovered and a good portion had been recovered by the government. Many of his representatives have offered to return some of the other items stolen by way of a compromise. These are palpable evidence of the truth. Many say that the sins of the forefathers should not be blamed on the descendants. The Bible says and oriental religions teach us that karma will haunt until the seven generations after. The descendants did not steal them but they enjoyed the fruits of the poisonous tree and still are enjoying them. That is another story.

Let us go back to Pacman. When VP Leni was asked: If you were not running for president, who would be your choice among the other candidates? Her answer was quick and spontaneous: Manny Pacquiao. Indeed, Manny is the one, aside from VP Leni, who has not stolen a single cent from the public funds. Manny even offers his own money to build homes for the poor in Mindanao. Manny helps the poor because he was among them not too long ago. Mama Dionesia (she was called Mommy D only when they became wealthy) was a vegetable vendor and Manny used to work as a construction worker who was sleeping on sidewalks and in Luneta.

Today, Manny has many mansions in Boracay, Gensan, Sarangani, Laguna, and in the USA. But his most expensive palatial home is in Forbes Park, worth more than a billion pesos, that’s billion with a B, a mark that he has arrived, that he is no longer among the hoi polloi. He has private planes, yachts, luxury cars like a Ferrari 458, Volvo, Porsche Cayenne, Lincoln Navigator, Mercedes-Benz, and many other expensive motorcycles. But not one of these can bring him to Malacañang. He is a good man whom the high-browed scribes and the Pharisees in politics have not really accepted as one of them. He is tolerated because of his wealth, but behind his back, people talk about his upstart English and demeanor.

In other words, like his personal savior, Jesus, Manny is not really accepted by the high priests of Philippine politics. Only the truly spiritual persons like VP Leni would discover how great a person Manny is. He is like Ramon Magsaysay who was a mechanic, who married the daughter of his employer. Magsaysay became a folk hero because he was like Cardo Dalisay and Robin Hood because of his guerilla war exploits and victories. Manny is also like the legendary Eulogio Amang Rodriguez who was only a high school graduate but became senate president for the longest time because of his winning personality. But, unlike Magsaysay, Manny will not become our president, at least, this year. Maybe in the future.

If Leni wins, and Manny does not want to go back to the Senate, he will make a very good DILG secretary or even of DOLE or DSWD. He has a good heart and he is a quick learner. He now knows the nuances of production, distribution, and consumption. But he does not know about corruption. His coach and mentor has taught him well and he picks up very fast. He is really brilliant but was not given a chance, for lack of money, to earn a college degree. Unlike some lazy guy we know who was sent to Harvard and to all Ivy League schools, spending millions. But until now, we have not seen any diplomas. I mean a genuine one. Pacman is not fake. But the self-righteous people are not ready to call a dropout Your Excellency. They may yet choose a liar and a lazy one, instead. Tsk, tsk, tsk. But I will choose an honest and competent lady.

MANNY PACQUIAO

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