Lt Colonel Manny Pacquiao can count on support of PH troops
MANILA, Philippines – Lieutenant Colonel Emmanuel Pacquiao of the Philippine Army Reserve Command can count on the support of his colleagues in the Armed Forces of the Philippines in the biggest battle in his boxing career.
Live viewing of his historic fight against American Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas on Saturday, May 2 (Sunday, May 3, in Manila) will be provided in various military bases nationwide. (WATCH Rappler documentary: Mayweather vs Pacquiao: The talk is over)
“I strongly believe that Pacman will win this fight based on the judges’ scorecards. I will pray that he will bring with him the glory for God, country, and our people,” said AFP chief General Gregorio Catapang Jr.
Pacquiao entered the Army reserve force in 2006 as a sergeant. He has since rose through the ranks through "meritorious promotion." The Filipino boxing icon, who is also a lawmaker representing Sarangani province in the House of Representatives, is currently the executive officer of the 1st Sarangani Infantry Battalion (Ready Reserve).
Catapang will lead about 1,000 soldiers and their dependents in the live viewing at the AFP Grandstand inside the military headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City, according to AFP public affairs office chief Lieutenant Colonel Harold Cabunoc.
Wounded soldiers confined at the nearby AFP Medical Center will be able to watch it at the hospital's multi-purpose hall.
Soldiers on security patrol mission will have to follow Pacquiao's fight through the news, however.
The Marines stationed in Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) will not be able to watch it live, according to Brigadier General Armando Banez, commander of the Palawan-based 3rd Marine Brigade.
“There are no live telecast available there, but some can see the news reports through the Internet. Some of those who are assigned in remote islets will listen through radio reports,” he said.
It's the same for the troops in Maguindanao and Sulu hunting down the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits, respectively.
“Those who were part of the security patrols will be out in the field to perform their job. Only those who are inside camp can have the opportunity to watch the live viewing here inside my headquarters in Shariff Aguak town,” said Colonel Melquiades Feliciano, commander of the Army 601st Brigade.
“We will not abandon our mandate of protecting the people. On top of our continuous operations against the terrorists, my unit has partnered with AFPRESCOM and OPAPP to conduct expanded medical mission and free concert here on May 2,” said Colonel Alan Arrojado, commander of the Joint Task Group Sulu. – Rappler.com