Speaker dissuades Pacquiao from using House gym for training

August 13, 2010 11:39 am 

By Lilybeth G. Ison

MANILA, Aug. 12 — House Speaker Feliciano "Sonny" Belmonte Jr. cautioned on Thursday boxing champion and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao against juggling his career as a boxer with his legislative duties.

Belmonte, however, said that the Filipino boxing icon can use the Batasang Pambansa complex in Quezon City to jog.

"It is not a good idea. Ang sports ay sports, huwag nating i-politicize ang sports. This (Batasang Pambansa) is a political place," he said in a press conference.

Belmonte explained that people will be coming over to watch Pacquiao train, that is why "it is not a good idea training inside the legislative ground. Before long, baka mawala na rin ang mga neophytes at nanonood na rin sa kanya," he added.

Pacquiao earlier told media that he would be training for his upcoming world title fight against Mexican Antonio Margarito at the gym of the House of Representatives, saying it is just a matter of time management.

The Speaker disagreed, saying it would be unfair for the "Pambansang Kamao."

"This is a big fight, not just his name is at stake. I don't like the grounds of the House to be the focus of professional fight like that. If he's gonna do it once or twice, that's okay. But that's about it," he said.

Belmonte, however, stressed that he is 100 percent supportive of Pacquiao.

"I would like to say that we are 100 percent supportive of Congressman Pacquiao and I myself know that he intends to be a real, hardworking congressman," he said.

In fact, Belmonte said he might attend Pacquiao’s fight in Las Vegas.

When asked if he will allow other lawmakers to watch Pacquiao's bout in Las Vegas, the Speaker said it's up to the question of a calendar. <Kp>At the moment, he said, "the calendar ends at November, iyung clear recess is just a few days before his fight."

"I'd like to be supportive of him (Pacquiao) as possible but not to the point of sacrificing the work here," he said.

But, Belmonte said he would allow the Filipino boxing icon to go on leave days before his bout to give him time to go into training.

"It doesn't matter if he will be absent for a couple of days. Sabihin niya he is doing a patriotic duty in Las Vegas," he said. (PNA)



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