Leaving a Legacy by C. De los Angeles
It can be recalled that as early has 2017, Sen. Manny Pacquiao during his first year as a Senator proposed the creation of the “Philippine Boxing and Combat Sports Commission.” The good senator went through the “eye of the needle” as legal luminaries like Sen. Drilon interpellated the basis of this law and after 2 years it was passed by the Senate as whole; however, it was not signed into law and therefore had to be refiled in this 18th congress.
Last Tuesday, May 18 as the Sen. Pacquiao’s bill was being tackled there were no more comments from the other Senators from what I saw since it was a previously approved bill except from Sen. Pia Cayetano. She started bringing and asking all the same questions that Sen. Drilon asked in the previous 17th congress which were likewise answered during that time. It took so much time that Sen. Zubiri decided to cut it short and have the interpellation continued the following day, May 19.
Yesterday, after all the Senators patiently waited for 10 hours for this agenda as well as completing their own respective bills when the time to continue the interpellation of Sen. Manny Pacquiao’s previously approved bill came, Sen. Pia Cayetano logged out and left. Various Senators were vocal in expressing how they have been diligently attending the long hours of the senate hearings to complete the much needed laws for our country while jokingly hitting out Sen. Pia Cayetano for her abrupt and sudden departure before her supposed time came and asked for it be reset to Monday instead.
Honestly, many times in the Congress and Senate so much time is wasted for grandstanding or asking repetitive and redundant questions. This scenario with Sen. Pia Cayetano is a classic example. This bill has been previously passed by the Senate as a whole while it is true she was not a Senator at the time this bill was passed and there are minutes of those deliberations at the time both in the committee level and in the plenary.
The most prudent, responsible and diligent action Sen. Pia Cayetano should have taken is personally review those files first or ask her staff to do it and should she have had any questions, suggestions or amendments maybe she could have passed it on to the office of Senator Pacquiao instead of her wasting the valuable time of ALL her colleagues in the Senate as it is a plenary session.
Various sports in the county have sports commissions and there is nothing irregular about the request of Sen. Pacquiao. It is true that combative sports could be dangerous and extra care should be taken but more than that it is common knowledge that next to basketball, boxing has brought immense pride and recognition to our country around the world. The Philippines has developed numerous global champions. It is but fitting to reward this sport and give it the recognition it deserves as well as to develop future world champions.
Aside from Sen. Pia Cayetano’s repetitive and redundant questioning her suggestion to maintain boxing under the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) is both absurd and ill advised. GAB is a regulatory body which supervises the gambling aspect of combative sports. Their mandate does not mention the care and the development of the athletes both in the grassroots and amateur level.
The goal of Sen. Manny Pacquiao is to develop more global champions in this field because despite the lack of support for this by the government we have been successful in excelling. This must mean that we have an innate talent in this field and if properly supported and nurtured we may have many more global champions.