Pacquiao eyes talk with Boy Abunda, Vice Ganda before leaving for US training
Manny Pacquiao's camp is looking to step up a meeting between the boxer and his two most vocal critics, Vice Ganda and Boy Abunda, in the wake of the controversy.

MANNY Pacquiao is willing to sit down and break bread with Vice Ganda and Boy Abunda, his most vocal critics following his controversial comment that couples in same-sex marriages are 'worse than animals.'

According to the eight-division world boxing champion's showbiz manager Arnold Vegafria, they are now looking to set up a meeting with the two, hopefully before Pacquiao flies to the US to begin training camp for his April 9 (April 10, Manila time) rubbermatch against Timothy Bradley.

"If there's a chance why not? Alam mo, nirerespeto namin 'yung opinyon nilang dalawa kasi 'yun rin 'yung kanilang pinaglalaban. So, respetuhin na lang natin ang bawat isa, I think that's the best," said Vegafria.

"Magkaiba sila ng paniniwala, kaya nag-apologize siya sa word na nagamit niya na mali. Kaya nga inaamin naman niyang mali 'yung ginamit niyang word kasi wala sa Bible 'yung word na 'yun, kaya nga 'yun ang pagkakamali niya," he added.

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The longtime showbiz insider also stressed that differing opinions, Pacquiao will always maintain his friendship with Abunda and Vice Ganda.

The two television personalities are not alone. Other politicians have also expressed their thoughts Pacquiao's controversy, among them, senatorial candidate Sherwin Gatchalian who took a shot at the Pinoy boxer's 'anti-gay' statement.

β€œI am a practicing Christian and may not approve of same-sex or LGBT marriage, but I will not stand in opposition to genuine initiatives moving for LGBT union in the country,” Gatchalian said.

β€œIs it human to hate their fellow human beings for having a different sexual orientation? At least animals do not discriminate against their fellow animals,” he added.

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But for the camp of Pacquiao, they'd rather roll with the punches.

"Hayaan na natin sila sa kanya-kanyang opinyon nila. Respetuhin na lang natin, iba yung beliefs nila, ibang yung conviction nila, so magkaiba sila ng paniniwala. So we just have to respect one another," said Vegafria.

"Basta si Manny, that was his position. He also respects the opinons of others, wala na siyang paki (pakialam) run," he added.

Asked if they are worried that Pacquiao's rating, which polls estimated at between the 8th to 10th spot in the senate race, will slide down following the backlash, Vegafria can only keep his fingers crossed.

"Sana hindi. Sana hindi naman mangyari. Lumawak na lang sana yung isipan ng mga boboto," he said of Pacquiao, who took a break from training on Thursday to rest his body in preparation for his intense US training camp.


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