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    'Kingmaker' Manny seals ties with top US ally

    Dec 4, 2012

    HOLLYWOOD – Already an accomplished boxer, now Manny Pacquiao is fast turning out to be a political kingmaker.

    On Monday (Tuesday, Manila time), Tulsi Gabbard personally visited Pacquiao in training camp at the Wild Card gym to thank the boxer for helping her win a congressional seat in the second district of Hawaii.

    It turned out Pacquiao campaigned for the lady congressman in the May 2011 elections.

    At 31, Gabbard is the youngest woman in the US to be elected to a state legislature. It was the first time she met the Philippine boxing star in person, although they’ve previously talked over the phone several times.

    Like Gabbard, Pacquiao is also a member of the Philippine Congress representing the lone district of Sarangani. He will be seeking re-election next year.

    The Hawaii congressman is the second US politician whom Pacquiao had campaigned for in the election after Las Vegas Senator Harry Reid, who also earned another term a year ago.

    Gabbard and Pacquiao exchanged pleasantries shortly after his training, and then gifted each other with miniature US and Philippine flags as a sign of friendship and camaraderie.

    In as much as she wanted to watch Pacquiao’s 12-round bout against Juan Manuel Marquez this Saturday at the MGM Grand, the lady congressman cannot make it owing to an 'official visit' she will do in Washington DC.

    But she assured that Pacquiao will always have her support in and out of the ring.

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