TWO of the country’s most influential people met on Monday afternoon and talked about everything under the sun, from boxing to tax woes to the cold Los Angeles weather.
Boxing sensation Manny Pacquiao paid President Aquino a courtesy call at Malacanang on a humid Monday afternoon, a week after regaining his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight belt following a unanimous decision win over American Timothy Bradley.
The Chief Executive and Pacquiao sat down and talked for 40 minutes inside the Music Room of the Palace, according to Presidential communications secretary Sonny Coloma Jr.
Before their meeting, both Pacquiao and the President had a short photo op.
The President congratulated Pacquiao for giving honor to the country once again in the aftermath of his convincing victory over Bradley during their 12-round title match at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas last week.
Wearing a white polo over black pants, the 35-year-old boxing hero still had a small bandage just above his left eye to cover the 32-stitch cut he suffered following an accidental headbutt by Bradley during the last 10 seconds of the final round.
Accompanied by his chief of staff Jake Joson, Pacquiao eagerly told the President about the coming member of the family as his wife Jinkee, also the vice governor of Sarangani province, is set to give birth by the end of the month.
The boxing great and Aquino also exchanged notes about the prevailing cold weather in Los Angeles, prompting the Chief Executive to reminisce about the family’s winter experience in Boston, Massachusetts when his father, former Senator Benigno Aquino Jr., was seeking medical assistance.
Being the congressman of the lone district of Sarangani, both Pacquiao, who is rumored to be eyeing the presidency in the year 2022, and the President also briefly talked about issues concerning the country.
The eight-time world champion pledged to Aquino that he will help in the government’s campaign to raise awareness on the MERS-Coronavirus among overseas Filipino workers based in the Middle East.
Coloma however, was mum about the current tax issue involving Pacquiao and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) chief Kim Henares.
But the Palace official was quick to add the brief meeting between the boxing legend and the President was very light and went very well.
“Nililinaw lang natin, there is no ill will or animosity that is present in all of these conversations,” he said.
Earlier, Pacquiao also made a courtesy call to Manila mayor Joseph Estrada and vice mayor Francisco Domagoso.
At the same time, the Manila City Council passed a resolution hailing Pacquiao’s victory over Bradley.