Save 20% off! Join our newsletter and get 20% off right away!
Manny Pacquiao for president?

Pacquiao: Ay Naku

By Greg S. Castilla  –  I LOVE Pacquiao as a fighter. I always cheer for him, shouting on top of my lungs whenever he fights.  I never missed his fights ever since he became a world champion in so many divisions.
His life-story – a poor boy who became a rich man – is the envy of many. He symbolizes what an individual can accomplish given the proper training and discipline. His is a story of how hard work and determination made him one of the greatest pugilists in recent history.
But, truth to tell, Pacquiao displays a persona that I oftentimes find difficult to figure out. No, I am not referring to his reported dalliance with an actress or his rumored propensity to gamble.
Rather, I am perturbed by how he uses the Bible to support his position on social and political issues.
Several months ago, Pacquiao compared people who engaged in same-sex marriage as “worse than animals. “ He went on to say, “It’s just common sense. Have you seen any animals having male-to-male or female-to-female relations?” Ay naku!
True, he defended his position citing biblical quotes. But his exegesis was based on the literal interpretation of the Bible without taking into consideration the historical context, that is, what a passage meant back then when it was written or when it happened.
Several local and international personalities immediately distanced themselves from Pacquiao. Singer-actress Aiza Seguerra called Pacquiao “ignorant and bigoted hypocrite.” Socialite Paris Hilton described as “horrific and damaging” Pacquiao’s statement.
Sometime in 2009, when he was hit with a P2.2 billion tax that the BIR had claimed he owed the government, Pacquiao claimed political harassment.
He said he had earned his money the hard way, got beaten in the ring. Still, the government took his money.  “May mga tao na ayaw tayong maging masaya,” he lamented.
He did not justify not paying his taxes using the Bible, but he alluded to the honor he has brought to the country and insinuated that he should be treated differently. Why should he be given special treatment?  In the town where I was born, a person with this attitude is considered big-headed.
To get the sympathy of the public, he even played with their emotions. “Thieves are treated better,” Pacquiao said emphatically. Ay naku!
During his first privilege speech as a senator last August, he said that God is for the death penalty, citing several biblical quotations. Pacquiao, who supports the imposition of the death penalty like Pressident Duterte, declared that God intends to punish and discipline the wrongdoers. Really? Ay naku!
Quoting Romans 13, verse 4, he said, “…But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on to the wrongdoers.”
Again, his tendency to turn to the Bible to justify his political positions smacks of simplicity that borders on his inability to critically reflect how social and political issues are analyzed and defined. He also tends to interpret biblical texts not by understanding what the Spirit originally was saying through its author, but by interpreting the text literally, which is what biblical fundamentalism is all about.
Ever since he changed religion, Pacquiao thrives in applying biblical quotations to his various positions. There is nothing wrong with this except that he ignores hermeneutics in favor of literal interpretation.
A few days ago, Pacquiao has done it again. He was able to find ways to rationalize his support for Duterte’s bloody war on drugs by saying that Duterte was anointed by God for a purpose, to discipline the Filipino people and his authority must be respected. If Duterte were anointed by God, I would rather be an atheist. Ay naku!
Does Pacquiao know what he is talking about? Or has his brain been damaged by the repetitive blows he has taken during all these years?
Whatever the answer is, Pacquiao is nothing but a false prophet.