Manny Pacquiao’s next fight in the boxing ring isn’t until November, but it looks like his next one outside of it just knocked on his door.
The man regarded as the people’s champion in the Philippines now has one less supporter after multiple reports surfaced that he, the eight-division boxing champion that he is, and 11 of his bodyguards allegedly mauled a barangay captain in General Santos City in the Philippines.
According to the Manila Times, San Jose barangay chairman Alfredo Belgica was damn near broken in half by Pacquiao and his bodyguards after the former tried to stop the congressman and his group from distributing sacks of rice and money to residents of General Santos City. When Belgica, a supporter of the incumbent city mayor Darlene Antonio-Custodio who is running opposite Pacquiao’s friend councilor Ronnel Rivera, threatened to file charges against Pacquiao for vote buying, the beatdown ensued, leaving the local official with contusions and bruises in the face and various parts of the body.
The report also said that Pacquiao and his bodyguards were taken into custody and brought to the General Santos City police command based at Camp Fermin Lira Jr. for questioning.
That’s the side of Belgica, but as we all know during election season in the Philippines, there are always two sides – sometimes even more – to a story.
Not surprisingly, Pacquiao’s camp has a different recollection of how the event transpired that led to Belgica getting his chops licked.
According to Jennifer Solis’ report on radio dzBB, it was Belgica who started the fracas when he allegedly threw rocks and fired several gunshots aimed at Pacquiao’s employees. The group was on its way to Barangay San Jose to deliver sacks of rice to their headquarters when the barangay chairman supposedly began ringing up gunshots and throwing rocks in their direction, resulting in nine of the congressman’s employees getting hurt.
Incidents like this are actually par for the course at this time in the Philippines. This doesn’t even register on the scale if it were any other person. But because it’s Manny Pacquiao, it’s making the headlines and really, for all the wrong reasons. It just goes to show that even the golden son of the Philippines isn’t immune from political drama.
This is about as far as it gets from the boxing ring and Pacquiao isn’t stepping into one until November this year. For now, he’s got another fight on his hands and appropriately enough, it’s in the political arena where he’s trying to make a name for himself.
Right or wrong, though, this episode won’t win him any points in the eyes of the public.