By RUDY D. LIPORADA
My heart was wrenched close to having a heart attack witnessing Senator Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao multiple knocked down in the debate canvass of the Senate ring with Honorable Senator Franklin M. Drillon. I do love Pacquiao to the max as a boxer, but he deserved the beating as his killer instinct should have been left and reserved in the boxing ring where he is beyond grand, not in the senate of the Philippines.
Not only was the renowned boxer ridiculous in the presentation of his stand on pushing for the death penalty revival in the Philippines last August 6. He was also not equipped with the statistical data to support his stand. More ludicrous was his use of fallacious reasons to bolster his stand. Not to lowbrow his elementary educational background but he pitted his Grade 6 English as an upstart senator against the seasoned Senator Drillon who was in the top ten when he passed the bar for lawyers in the Philippines.
Ngunit kahit tinagalog pa ni Pacquiao ang pakipagdebate niya, his main points are beyond, I reiterate, ludicrous and fallacious.
Foremost, Pacquiao doesn’t appear to know why he is a senator. When Drillon asked if their argument “should be a question of policy,” Manny replied no. A perplexed Drillon retorted they are “here in the halls of Congress precisely to debate on policy.”
They were debating about the death penalty which Pacquaio said should be reinstated because Jesus Christ himself was sentenced to death by a government.
Drillon asked if “Jesus Christ was a victim of wrongful execution” and the boxer said, “Jesus sacrificed himself to save the lives of people.” To this Senate President Vicente Sotto III added said that the people would not have been redeemed if “Jesus did not die on the cross.”
What? This exchange? In the Senate?
Earlier Pacquiao said in his privileged speech, “As a Christian, I subscribe to what the Bible says about submitting to governing authorities. I can cite Bible verses to support my stance.”
Senator Pacquiao, claiming to be a Christian seem not have heard about the proclamation of Pope Francis in August 2018 where he declared that executions were unacceptable in all cases because they are “an attack” on human dignity adding that the church would work “with determination” to abolish capital punishment worldwide.
Either Pacquiao is ignorant of the Papal proclamation or is a Christian hypocrite in the most murderous scale.
When Drillon raised the issue that capital punishment would be imposed by “fallible” judges and justices of the Philippine court, Pacquiao responded, “No one is perfect. The most important thing is we have to trust our authority…the government.”
Either Pacquiao can sacrifice the innocent or he does not know the meaning of fallible.
Moreover, when Drillon jabbed the boxer with statistics of percentages of those charged with the death penalty and later on exonerated due to modern methods like DNA testing and recantations of former witnesses, Pacquiao stammered, confused by the barraged of answers being dictated by his staff on the side rails or being sent to his cell phone which he kept swiping on. He kept on blubbering “we have no statistics on that.” The boxer had no ready answers and cannot follow the dictates of his staff.
A fact is, as it appeared in the Times on April 28, 2014, four out a hundred or 4.1 percent of those charged and convicted with death penalties were later on wrongly executed in the US where Drillon pointed out those executed “could not be brought to life again.”
Going back to Jesus, Pacquiao said that “The Bible says, Mr. President, that Jesus said He can command His angels to protect Himself, but He didn’t do that because, purposely, He was going there to sacrifice himself for us to be saved for eternal life.”
The room erupted in laughter when Drillon tried to clarify that that was the very reason Jesus was “wrongfully executed.”
Drillon further asked ‘“Suppose after the death penalty is carried out, and a DNA test would show the innocence of an accused, can the case be reopened and the judgment be reversed?
“No one is perfect and in this imperfect world, where death can be imposed, you cannot bring back the life,” he said further.”
But Pacquiao responded: “The more important thing here is we trust our judiciary. Let’s trust our own government.”
May mga fallible nga eh!
My take: with the present government accused of extrajudicial killings, one cannot truly trust the government, Mr. Senator Pacquiao. Moreover, Honorable Senator Boxer Pacman, with the extrajudicial killings going on, you don’t really have to push for the revival of the death penalty anymore as it is already rampantly going on or are you legalizing the extrajudicial killings?
To think that this wonder boxer is aiming to be the president of the Philippines.