Pacquiao gets standing ovation in #RHvote

MANILA, Philippines - Everyone knew he was going to vote against the Reproductive Health bill (RH bill). But it didn't matter. All Sarangani Rep Manuel Pacquiao had to do was take the podium and everyone forgot - even only for a few minutes - the highly charged voting on the measure that seeks to provide, among others, free contraceptives to the poor.

In a way that only Pacquiao has been able to do, the Filipino boxing champion united the supporters and critics of the RH bill. Before explaining his vote, Pacquiao took the opportunity to thank those who supported him in his last match against Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez, to whom he lost by a knockout.

"My countrymen, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for your prayers and support during my last fight in Las Vegas," he told the plenary. Immediately, the House members and the visitors in the gallery gave him a standing ovation.

Pacquiao narrated how he was unconscious for about 2 minutes. "Some thought I was dead.... What happened in Vegas strengthened my already firm belief on the sanctity of life," he said.

"Manny Pacquiao is Pro-Life. Manny Pacquiao votes no to House Bill 4244," he added. -